New Delhi: The Centre will soon announce a new education policy and the government has received over 2 lakh suggestions on it, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the union budget on Saturday.

Sitharaman said Rs 99,300 crore has been allocated for the education sector and Rs 3,000 crore for skill development for the next fiscal. Steps will be be taken to attract external commercial borrowing and FDI in the education sector, the finance minister said.

She further said the government plans to start a programme for urban local bodies to provide opportunities for internship to young engineers.

She also said National Police University and National Forensic University are being proposed, while planning to allow degree level full-fledged online education programme by institutions ranked in top 100. The government has also proposed to attach medical colleges with district hospitals on PPP model to deal with shortage of doctors, she added.

The government also proposed to start an SAT exam for students of Asia and Africa to promote “study in India” program. In the last budget also the government focused on the program where more than 70,000 students from 190 countries have already applied for admissions in these seats in the current year.

With the help of the campaign, the government is expecting a quantum jump in the number of international students in the country. The aim of the campaign is to make available high quality premier education in India at affordable costs for international students.

The countries that have registered maximum number of students last session are Ehtiopia (12,047), Nigeria (11,108), Afghanistan (7,905), Nepal (7,806), Bangladesh (5,902), Kenya (3,626), Tanzania (3,531), Rwanda (2,542) Ghana (2,344) and Uganda (2,018). In all, there are registrations from over 190 countries.

Special bridge courses will be designed for teachers, nurses, para medical staff, caregivers, she said. Allocation for Swachh Bharat for 2020-21 stands at Rs 12,300 crore, and the government is proposing Rs 3.6 lakh crore towards piped water supply to households.

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