Union Budget 2018: What Does It Mean For Students?

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The Union Budget is trending and everyone is using complicated jargon to discuss it. Good or bad, it’s the young citizens of this nation that’ll face the fire in the coming decades. Hence, it has become almost a necessity to understand and analyze what’s going on in the nation. How does this budget affect young people is the crucial question?

Does the budget affect our everyday lives as students and young professionals? Well, sure it does. The cost of the things you buy from Amazon, the size of your University Campus, the speed and quality of your internet connection, the garbage in front of your house, these may or may or not change post the budget (your imported goods have surely gotten more expensive though). But honestly, the Union Budget was never about the minute details. It’s all about the bigger picture. A picture which I’m going to paint for you now:

Education

“In order to further enhance the accessibility of quality medical education and healthcare, we will be setting up 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals by upgrading existing district hospitals in the country. This would ensure that there is at least one medical college for every three parliamentary constituencies and at least one government medical college in each state,” said Jaitley

Boring? Well, hear me out. How do digital boards for blackboards sound? Or maybe that the study material from every premium institution in the nation is just a few clicks away from you? Interested now?

Well, the government has taken great initiatives in digitization of education. Even though IITs and IIMs have lost thousands of crores in funding this year, the usage of the world wide web to spread the reach of education across India is increasing as we speak. So you’re looking at better accessibility to a plethora of knowledge and information, specifically suited for the courses you find in Indian Universities, all free of cost.

Not only that, Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister of the country also announced that “the government would launch the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme in 2018, under which 1,000 of the best BTech students each year from premier institutions would be identified and provided with facilities to do PhD in IITs and IISc; along with a fellowship grant.”

The Cryptocurrency Bubble

Were you dreaming about being the next Warren Buffett and investing your way to success and riches? With Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies making investors rich overnight, who didn’t? Moreover, they grasped the attention of college students and young professionals alike, as an unorthodox ladder to financial freedom.

Unfortunately, the government clearly stated in the budget speech that it doesn’t consider Bitcoin as a legal tender and discourages its use. Therefore, it is suggested staying away from investing in cryptocurrency unless you’re ready to lose the money you invest.

The government clarified that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender. This means that they are not a currency. However, it doesn’t mean that holding cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is illegal or banned. As of now, the government has not termed it illegal. However, as a cryptocurrency user, you should tread with caution. The price of bitcoin peaked to cross $18,500 in December 2017. Since then the price has dropped, to $8,500 in February 2018.

Jobs? Or No Jobs?

Yeah, we all have to answer to our uncles and aunties about our future, don’t we? Well, post the Union Budget 2018, how close are we to getting that famed 1 Crore annual package in an MNC? Well, even though that isn’t happening there are yet attempts being made to gear up to an employment ready India.

With employability skills being a key issue, the focus is now on rectifying and ensuring that young people are prepared for the job market. To support the students, the government has announced that it will launch “National Apprenticeship Scheme” with stipend support and will share the cost of basic training by which it aims to give training to 50 lakh youth by 2020.

A major initiative named “Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022” will also be launched with a total investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in next four years.

All in all, if you are a working professional or just about to graduate there isn’t much of an immediate improvement in job prospects, but for students, it sure looks like the future will be brighter.

Unfortunately, for many years now, the budget has had very little or no immediate effect on the lives of the young people of this nation. Nothing other than some mandatory increases in funding and introduction of schemes, with names we could never memorize. Has the youth somehow lost its importance in the nation with the youngest population? I hope not. Can we expect any substantial changes in education, infrastructure, and sports for young people to reap the benefits of? Looks like we are starting to get there. For now, just learn how to do your taxes, don’t forget to vote, and start saving.


All views mentioned in this article are solely those of the writer and in no way are representative of those of CareerNinja. 

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