union budget


People were at the extremity of their seats in deep anticipation, with their eyes glued to their television and mobile screens when this year’s Union Budget, Budget 2020 was introduced by our Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in an endeavor to resuscitate the ailing economy of our country by measures to restore the economic growth as well hoick people’s incomes. 

Budget 2020 is hinged on three broad themes- Aspirational India, Economic Development, and Caring Society. The Budget speech delivered by our Finance Minister went on for more than two hours and 30 minutes and hence, was by far the longest till date. Sitharaman had even more to say with two pages of the speech left, but had to end the speech and sit down due to health issues.

From introducing tax reforms, and making tax administration more efficient to measures for boosting infrastructure, the Budget 2020 was full of various things. Here are a few key takeaways of the Budget 2020-

1) Taxing Reforms-

The income tax slabs were majorly overhauled. The Finance Minister introduced a brand new tax regime and made it optional for the tax payers to either switch to the new one or continue on with the old regime. The catch here lies in the fact that if one chooses the new tax regime, certain conditions apply. The tax payer would have to give up all other income tax deductions. These include standard deductions, house rent allowances, etc.

2) Agricultural Sector-

“The government is committed to doubling the farmers’ income by 2022 and the budget aims to boost the income of people and enhance their purchasing power” said Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. She announced a 16 points plan for the farmers. The Government allocated INR 2.83 lakh crores for agriculture and allied activities, irrigation, and rural development. The center will also provide encouragement to state governments who implement model laws like Model Agricultural Produce, and Livestock Marketing Act of 2017. Further, the Finance Minister also proposed extensive measures for 100 water stressed districts in the country, along with promises to raise the credit availability for farmers to INR 15 lakh crores.

In addition to all this, the budget also talked about matters relating to expansion of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) scheme, to help 20 lakh farmers in setting up standalone solar firms. A Kisan Rail has also been proposed to be set up under the Indian Railways.

3) Education Sector-

In line with the three major themes of the Budget, the Government allocated around INR 99,300 crores to the education sector which is in addition to the aim of increasing foreign investement in the sector for rapid growth. An “Indo- SAT”exam under the “Study In India” scheme has also been proposed for giving educational opportunities to African and Asian students seeking education in India. Nirmala Sitharaman also mentioned that the government will introduce a New Education Policy soon after recieveing over 2 lakh suggestions for the same.

4) Sale Of LIC-

In an augmentation of its disinvestment drive, the budget proposed to sell part of its holding in the LIC through an initial public offering, i.e. IPO.

5) Increase In Security For Bank Deposits-

Against the backdrop of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, this is a really positive step in view of the bank depositors. Insurance cover for bank depositors has been raised from INR 1 Lakh to INR 5 Lakh.

6) Decriminalization Of Offences Under Companies Act-

The Finance Minister announced a Tax Payer charter to shield tax payers from harassment. According to her, this proposal of decriminalization was made to respect wealth creators.

7) Women-

Finance Minister further announced a Task Force, in order to analyse and decide upon the legal marriageable age for women, so as to reduce the maternal mortality ratio. A lower mortality ratio means that women would be better health-wise. Around INR 30,000 crore has been allocated to the Women and Child Development Ministry, which is a 14% increase over the amount allocated to it last year. A major part of this amount is dedicated to Anganwadi services.


Finance Minister last year said she wanted to get over the colonial hangover and felt that the Budget was a sacred document.

Feature Image CreditsHindustan Times


This wraps up the key takeaways from the Budget 2020. Hopefully, the condition of the Indian economy will improve and India will be one step further in realizing its goal of a 5 trillion dollar economy, after all the promises and announcements made by the Finance Minister this year. 


Feature Image Credits: Deccan Herald


Abhinandan Kaul 

[email protected] 


The Union Budget 2020 released by the Government has left Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) highly dismayed for not addressing their proposals and grievances even after a series of strikes and protests.

The union budget 2020 passed by the Government has left the DUTA extremely disappointed for not paying heed to the deepening crisis in public-funded higher education. Despite the strikes by the professors of University of Delhi (DU), the Government, in its budgetary allocation, still continues on its path of privatization by reducing grants and promoting a loan funded education through allocating a greater budget, with an increase of 100 crores to Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA). A large part of it is earmarked for expensive bureaucratic schemes such as world-class universities and others, causing fear of promotion in disparity and institutional hierarchy in the sector. The budget also encourages commercialisation and obstructs the traditional classroom teaching by mentioning a separate provision for full online degree programs.


Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Amrita Ajay, a professor from English department, Maitreyi college says, “I am not sure if it’s going to be a good model as there is no substitute for classroom teaching, in the world the MOOC’s have only taken up these causes but, I don’t know how far these online degrees contribute in terms of their knowledge increasing.” She further says that she is a little apprehensive for the same. The aggregate increase in the budgetary allocation for higher education from INR 38317 crores to INR 39466 crores presents a marginal increase of 2.79 % and from this as well a large part of the money is earmarked for expenditure which is of no direct benefit for students or teachers. There is also a reduction in the grants allocation for central universities from INR 2593 crores to INR 2298 crores.

Rajib Ray, DUTA President said, “The DUTA fears that the slashing of grants in higher education will affect permanent recruitments and promotions of teachers across central universities. These universities are already being filled to push a large number of vacancies with short term contractual appointments instead of attracting and retaining academic talent.” He further continued, “This scenario will eventually lead to a sharper decline in the quality and academic standards of these institutions.” The Economic survey clearly points out that this model of education deprives the students belonging to financially middling and poor families of higher educational studies.

The corporate greed and interest in having financial institutions have left the Government completely blind to the widespread protests in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), University of Hyderabad (UoH), DU, and other universities against the increment in the tuition fees, along with hostel and mess charges. The budget pushes the traditionally worshipped teachers to the lowest of the priority list as it allocates greater funds to begin virtual classrooms associated with the online degree programs. This somewhere, even highlights that the need to maintain and upgrade classrooms, laboratories, and libraries would be ignored and will stand in high contrast to the Government’s scheme of world-class type universities.

With respect to the Government’s model of having a loan sponsored higher education system, the DUTA president said, ” the lessons of the US debt crisis, in which the share of unrecovered student loans was extremely large, does not seem to have gone home. The substitution of direct subsidy by loans may assist private financiers in the short term, but it is a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.”

Feature image caption: DUTA strike against the recommendation of 7th pay revision.

Feature image credits:  DU Beat 

Kriti Gupta 

[email protected] 


The Union Budget for this fiscal year was announced on 1st February 2018. Here is a look at all the aspects concerning the student varsity of India.

Economists and critics have had their opinions about the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s last budget before the 2019 elections. Let us look at how education fared in Arun Jaitley’s last budget which mainly focuses on the agricultural sector.

1 lakh Crore will be invested in RISE (Revitalisating of Infrastructure and System of Education) till 2022 aiming to improve the state of quality education and infrastructure of such institutions. Similarly, Eklavya schools will be opened in areas of more than 50% tribal citizens. The real question is whether this money will be fully utilized in these missions or will the future generation of India still grapple with low standards of education in its government schools. According to studies, the quality of education in the already established government schools is abysmal and students often drop out.

18 autonomous Schools of Planning and Architecture will be made in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and National Institute of Technology (NIT) across the country. In the latest Prime Minister Fellows Scheme, 1000 B.Tech students of premier institutions will be selected to pursue their PhDs from IITs and IISs. They would be provided with handsome fellowships and be expected to teach in high schools for a couple of hours every week. This scheme would help scholars having  limited means improve their job and future prospects. A Railway University will also be set up at Vadodara, Gujarat.

12.56 Crore rupees have been allocated for scholarships for students with disability. Government teacher training will also be provided to improve the quality of education in government. schools. The focus and benefits for startups are likely to create more jobs in the economy.

The government’s decision to reduce Employees’ Provident Fund from 12% to 8% is not an intelligent move as it decreases the employee’s retirement money as well as interest that could have been earned. No focus has been paid to construction of more medical colleges and availability of easy student loans.

The budget is not inclusive of all students and does not benefit them equally. The students’ votes would depend on how well the government performed during these past four years overall and how well it helped boost our economy. The economy is a vital tool in the functioning of any country, considering the fact that approximately 50% of the population is below the age of 25, the economy must cater to students due to abundance in numbers.

Feature Image Credits: The Financial Express

Prachi Mehra

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