After almost three decades, India has unveiled a new National Education Policy. From a single regulator for higher education institutions to common entrance examinations in colleges and universities — these is a host of changes for higher education programmes in India under the new policy. The Union Cabinet today has approved the new National Education Policy. Here are the changes
The new education policy aims to increase the number of students enrolled in higher education institutions such as colleges and universities. The target is to surge the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to 50% by 2035, the Amit Khare, the higher education secretary, ministry of education.
The under-graduate education in the country will become "broad based, multi-disciplinary and holistic." The students will have option to choose from creative combination of subjects. The vocation education will also be integrated in under-graduate level. To make the curricula more flexible, there will be options of multiple entry and exit points in colleges under the new education policy.
"An academic bank of credit will be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different colleges and universities, so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned," the ministry of education said in a notification.
Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities, at par with IITs, IIMs will be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country. "The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education," the notification read.
There will be a single regulator for all higher education institutions except for legal and medical colleges. Students will have to sit for a common entrance exam for admissions to colleges and universities. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct the common entrance test.
Moreover, the central government is planning to bring a common rules and regulations for private and public higher education institutions under the National Education Programme, 2020. MPhil will be discontinued under new education policy.
“Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an autonomous degree-granting college, or a constituent college of a university," Khare said.
The education fee in colleges and universities will also be capped under the new policy, according to reports.
In May 2016, a ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the chairmanship of TSR Subramanian, former cabinet secretary, submitted its report. Based on this, the ministry prepared a document called ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’.
Then, a panel led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan had submitted the draft of the new NEP to education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank.