New education policy is a groundbreaking move for India

After nearly 34 years, the Government of India has come up with a new education policy, which aims to upgrade the school education system and higher education system as per the present need and to compete with the world-class education system

Venkata Krishna Rao. K Aug 09, 2020

After nearly 34 years, the Government of India has come up with a new education policy, which aims to upgrade the school education system and higher education system as per the present need and to compete with the world-class education system. In 2014, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mentioned in their manifesto about coming out with a new education policy (NEP).

Everything has been revamped from school to higher education system in NEP, In NEP present 10+2 will be replaced with 5+3+3+4. In the earlier system, pedagogy is almost the same from the age of 3 to age 16. But In the new system, pedagogical structure changes based on student year and class, because student mentality changes year by year, it's a major change in the school education system. 

In addition to that, NEP is also have focused on more vocational studies, pre-schooling in Kendriya Vidyalayas, NCC (National Cadet Corps) wings in secondary and higher educational institutions, free boarding facilities at JNV (Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas) to assist the poor students, teaching in mother tongue till class 5, conducting two board examinations and one out of them for improvement are some other changes in the schooling system of NEP.

In a country like India, where 19.1 percent of India's population is between 19-24, i.e, age for higher education study, many students are dropping out of their education after schooling due to many reasons. To fix this problem, NEP has set the target of achieving a gross enrollment ratio of 50 percent by 2035; 3.5 crore seats to be added to the higher education system. NEP also focused on revamping the higher education system and set to bring new four higher education verticals under a single umbrella called the higher education commission of India (HECI).

New verticals

Four new independent higher education verticals are National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard-setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,  and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation.

The focus of new verticals would be reducing human interface which will ensure transparency and efficiency of work by using extensive technology. The purpose of separation of each vertical in the new HECI is relevant and meaningful to help the institutions in improving quality and their rankings in the world.  

Another perspective in NEP is the model of multidisciplinary, in the current world most of the research work is interdisciplinary. In that view, there shall be at least one multidisciplinary college in each district by 2030, and by 2040 every higher educational institute will be converted as a multidisciplinary college. Even engineering institutions like IITs and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) will move towards more holistic and multidisciplinary by including arts and humanities. So that arts and humanities students can also learn science and vice versa.  NEP also focused on reducing stress on students, to reduce the stress multi exit system has been proposed, students can quit from a college in any year with a suitable certificate based on the quitting year.

The biggest problem the Indian educational institutions are facing is of infrastructure and human resources due to lack of funding. Presently educational institutions are getting just 1.7 percent of India's GDP. As per NEP, educational institutions get 6 percent of India’s GDP by 2030.  

Foreign universities

Still, most of the universities in India are following traditional methods and are unable to adopt technology-oriented world-class methods. It is here that NEP may help the institutions to change their approach in teaching. By inviting the top 100 foreign universities to set up campuses here, other Indian institutions can also have easy collaboration and can adopt world-class methodologies in teaching. Some people are criticizing about allowing foreign universities to India, fearing that this may lead to hiking of fees. But, for that, there is a fee regulator body to fix the fees.

Every year more than 750,000 students are going abroad for higher studies and spending billions of dollars. So by allowing foreign universities in India, students will show interest to study here rather than going abroad.

With all these changes in school education and higher education system, NEP will be a groundbreaking move for the 21st century in the education system of India, though there is still a long way to go for improving the quality and skill in Indian universities and students.

(The writer is a Research Scholar, IIT Varanasi. The views expressed are personal)

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