The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has created quite a few waves in the education sector. The Ministry of Human Resources Development introduced the policy on 29th July 2020 after approval from the Union Cabinet of India. The NEP 2020 is going to bring in sweeping changes into the Indian education system to bring it on par with the education provided in the developed countries.
The NEP 2020 is also bringing in many changes to higher education in the country. From the creation of world-class universities and institutes to ridding the education system of rote learning, many welcome changes were
One of the most focused areas of improvement in the NEP 2020 was the higher education sector in India. The higher education system in the country was found to be lacking reforms. Therefore, the NEP 2020 has the following plans for higher education in India.
Till now, institutes and universities were following the same format of specialised education which ended up creating professionals who lacked additional skills and knowledge. This system is about to get a complete overhaul. There are plans in NEP 2020 for creating institutes and universities in or nearby all the districts throughout the country. These institutes and universities will not specialise in one single discipline. They will be multidisciplinary institutes and universities providing students with education options to pursue. Multidisciplinary courses have to start by the year 2030. They even have the option of tying up or merging with other institutes or universities to provide more streams of education and create institutional clusters.
The multidisciplinary options will be available to students right from the undergraduate level. Institutes and universities and even faculty will have more autonomy. They will even have freedom on the academic and education front. They will be overseen by independent boards. Education methods, exam formats, and assessment parameters are all set to receive an overhaul to match international standards.
For years, the education system in the country has stressed on technical education which has resulted in students being bad at the artistic subjects. Since the NEP 2020 will create multidisciplinary institutes and universities, there will be enough stress on other subjects like Indology, literature, languages, philosophy, music, dance, theatre, art, economics, sociology, pure & applied sciences, mathematics, and education. These subjects will be taught by highly qualified teachers who will have a holistic approach towards teaching the subjects. There will be very less importance given to rote education.
A holistic approach to education ensures students develop into well-rounded professionals who, along with technical skills, also possess soft skills and are socially and environmentally aware. The multidisciplinary institutes will also have a push for research-based education. Theory-based education will be limited and practical-based education will be imparted through direct industry interactions. Students will also be allowed to pursue internships and research internships at the local level to increase their knowledge and understanding of the industry at the local level. This approach hopes to create professionals who will work and develop industries from the ground up.
Holistic education cannot be provided unless the teachers are equipped with holistic knowledge and education themselves. NEP 2020 has also made provisions for improving teacher education throughout the country. New, strong criteria for teacher education will be formulated, and those institutes that provide teacher education that are found to be short will be shut down. Teacher education will also be a part of the multidisciplinary institutes and universities, and they will be in charge of creating high-quality, qualified educators of tomorrow.
Another major change in teacher education is going to the required degrees and qualifications. The basic degree to become a teacher will now be a bachelor of education (B. Ed.) degree which is 4 years long. There will be 2 majors in the degree. 1 major will compulsorily have to be education and the other one will be a subject of the student’s choice. This specialisation will decide what course they pursue in the future and become teachers. There will also be one single entrance exam conducted nation-wide for graduates to become part of various teacher programs. The NEP 2020 has taken major steps to restore the importance and pride to the profession of teacher.
Research is one of the most important aspects related to a thriving economy and a society that is technologically advanced with good healthcare and education. NEP 2020 makes provisions for increasing the country’s research capabilities through the creation of the National Research Foundation (NRF). India has always struggled in the field of research. Therefore, one of the foremost duties of the NRF will be to build the research infrastructure in the country, starting from the higher education institutes and universities in the country.
One of the best ways NRF will support the growth of peer-reviewed research in the country is by providing adequate funding to the institutes and universities with strong research programs. There will also be monetary rewards for excellent research work conducted in the country in a wide variety of fields like humanities, arts, social sciences, technology, and science. The NRF will also make rules, regulations, and parameters for researchers, institutes, and universities to follow to create a culture of strong research and development.
The higher education regulatory authorities in India were set up with the sole purpose of managing and promoting higher education in the country, but this did not happen. Instead, the regulatory authorities turned into the biggest blockades for the development of higher education. No accountability, power struggles, conflict of interest, and lack of clarity in their work has been one of the biggest impediments for higher education. These bodies also ended up creating some of the most difficult rules and regulations for setting up educational institutes and universities in the country.
NEP 2020 outlines the setting up of a single regulator to oversee the higher education sector in the country. The National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) will be the authority in charge of higher education in the country. The body will act as a watchdog and will allow relative freedom for multidisciplinary institutes and universities to operate and develop. There will also be a General Education Council (GEC) to formulate the National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF) to check outcomes like graduate attributes. And for funding of higher education, a Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC) will be created.
One of the main aims of NEP 2020 is to make India a destination for international education. To facilitate this. High-performing Indian institutes and universities will be allowed and encouraged to set up campuses in other countries to showcase the quality of India education. Similarly, a regulatory framework will be created that will allow foreign institutes and universities to open up campuses in the country, and they will be granted relative freedom on par with autonomous universities for self-governance and creating coursework content.
The main aim of NEP 2020 is to make India an international destination for affordable higher education. Theres also a goal to create 20+ higher education institutes and universities that will attain high rankings on the global level.
The NEP 2020 is a revolutionary policy that is expected to change the Indian education system for the better. The policy was formed in consultation with the best education experts in the country and parents and students. Hence, the NEP 2020 is being hailed as an important step in the evolution of Indian education.