17 Key Changes in Higher Education: New Education Policy
- Increase GER to 50 % by 2035
NEP 2020 plans to raise the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. As established earlier vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships, hence this would assist the NEP with the aim mentioned above. Further its stated that 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.
- Holistic Multidisciplinary Education
The policy ensures that the Under Graduate education would consist of flexible syllabus, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. The policy has maintained its flexibility by allotting multiple exit options with appropriate certifications for the same. For instance, Certificate after year 1, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years.
- The policy is also pushing for digital records that can be easily transferred a counted towards the end of the degree, to ensure the above An Academic Bank of Credit would be established.
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, are expected to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country. Further, The National Research Foundation will be created as the supreme body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
The authority which would be established as the in charge of the entire higher education aspect of India would be the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), however it would be excluding medical and legal education. HECI has been stated to comprise of four independently functional bodies verticals – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) which would be established for regulation, General Education Council (GEC) which would look after the standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) which would be established for funding, and lastly National Accreditation Council (NAC) for would be responsible for accreditation. HECI will have the powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards. Another important thing to note here is that the Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
- Rationalised Institutional Architecture
The scope of Higher education institution would be expanded with, from Research-intensive UniversitiestoTeaching-intensive Universitiesand lastly the Autonomous Degree-granting Colleges.
Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and further over the time every college is expected to be either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
- Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty
NEP also made sure to pay emphasis on motivating, energizing, and building capacity of faculty. This is ensured by having transparent recruitment, faculty allotted freedom to design syllabus, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership. Lastly, the professors not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable
- Teacher Education
The NEP instructs for the formulation of the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, which will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. The objective here is to ensure that by 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
- Mentoring Mission
Exemplary senior/retired faculty from across the country shall be integrated to create National Mission for mentoring. These esteemed mentors who consent to be a part of this programme, with knowledge and experience to teach in Indian languages, shall be required to provide short-term and long-term professional support to the University and College teachers.
- Financial support for students
The students from SC, ST, OBC and other marginalised groups face undue disadvantage in the educational sphere, therefore, concentrated efforts to incentivize their merit shall be made. The existing National Scholarship Portal shall be widened to track the progress of students, in order to ensure constant support in awarding scholarships. The HEI’s shall be directed to provide increased scholarships and free ships as well.
- Open and Distance Learning
Open and distance learning in India is not well-development which indirectly contributes to the low Gross enrolment ratio, the policy aims at improving the GER, by incorporating online courses, better student services for education, a newer model of credit-based recognition of MOOC’s and better funding for research purposes.
- Online Education and Digital Education
The MHRD shall work towards the improvement and development of the digital infrastructure to ease the e-education needs of schools and higher education institutions. In light of the same, an extensive set of suggestions have been evolved keeping in mind the present situation, which shall ensure the streamlining of conducting online classes in the future without any hindrance, or compromise in the quality of education, especially in cases where the traditional model is unable to be followed.
- Technology in education
The policy has provided for the creation of an autonomous body, The National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), that shall facilitate the use of technology and development in the patterns of learning, planning administration and assessment. Learning from the plight of the system during the pandemic, integration of technology in classroom, and other auxiliary activities to aid the improvement shall be undertaken. This shall be majorly beneficial to the disadvantaged group who are facing difficulties in accessing education, due to the shift to online medium.
- Promotion of Indian languages
India is a country of immense diversity and multiplicity of languages, with the aim of preserving and promoting the knowledge and growth of all Indian languages, this policy suggested the establishment of Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, whereby all the language departments of Higher Education Institutions (HEI), including Sanskrit shall be strengthened. It also promotes the increased usage of mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction in HEI.
The concept of internationalization is incorporated in the policy to facilitate better quality of education, student-faculty mobility and increased institutional collaborations. The doors have been opened for world ranked universities to set up campuses in the country.
- Professional Education
The policy has proposed the conversion of all stand-alone universities to become multi-disciplinary, through this, professional education shall be made an indispensable part of the Higher Education Structure in India.
- Adult Education
The literacy rate in India needed a push in the right direction, and it is through the various initiatives proposed, that this policy aims at achieving 100% adult literacy.
- Financing Education
A much-needed respite was bought in by the plan of collective working of the Centre and the States towards increasing the public investment made towards Education, with the aim of accounting for 6% of the GDP as soon as possible.
- Unprecedented Consultations
The NEP, 2020 has undergone a widespread and intensive process of formulation which included more than 2 lakh suggestions that flooded in from the length and breadth of the country. The process was initiated in the January 2015 by the Ministry for Human Resource Development, furthering which in 2016, it was commissioned under the supervision of Late Shri T.S.R Subramanian, who formerly held the position of the Cabinet Secretary. This report was titled “Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy”, this formed the basis for the comprehensive report, “Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy. 2016”. Finally this report came to life under the Chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasturirangan, former head of ISRO, who is an unbeatable stalwart in the field of science. A draft was presented on the 31st May, 2019 on the “MyGov Innovate” portal for the review, suggestions and reform input by the public and other stakeholders.