Draft National Education Policy on Higher Education

The draft National Education Policy makes the following recommendations to improve the quality of higher education:

  • There is a great need to focus on multidisciplinary and 21st-century competencies for future work roles. These multidisciplinary capabilities differentiate humans from Robots.
  • Breaking down of the rigid boundaries of disciplines in higher education by moving towards broad-based, flexible learning. Institutions which offer single streams (such as technical education) must be phased out, and all universities and colleges must aim to become multidisciplinary by 2030.
  • Reintroduction of the four-year undergraduate programme in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with multiple exit options, and scrapping of the MPhil programme.
  • Institutes offering three-year traditional BA, BSc, as well as BVoc degrees can continue such programmes, but even those Bachelor s degrees courses must move towards a more comprehensive liberal education approach.
  • PhD enrollment will require either a Master s degree or a four-year Bachelor s degree with research.
  • Building a small number of new liberal arts universities on the lines of Ivy League schools, in the next five years.
  • An increase in the number of off-shore campuses of Indian institutions and permitting the world s top 200 institutions to set up branches in India.
  • Indian higher education institutions must be encouraged to offer their distance-learning programmes abroad and enter into international partnerships for research.
  • Setting up of National Research Foundation (NRF) by an Act of Parliament as an autonomous institution tasked with creating a conducive ecosystem for research through funding and mentoring.
  • A common regulatory regime for the entire higher education sector to eliminate isolation and disjunction. National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) will be the sole regulatory authority and NAAC, along with other accreditation agencies, will oversee accreditation.
  • Regulatory bodies such as the Medical Council of India, Bar Council of India, AICTE, National Council for Teacher Education to become Professional Standard-Setting Boards in their respective fields, without regulatory powers in professional education.
  • The creation of a new apex institution Rashtriya Shikha Aayog to be chaired by the Prime Minister for developing, articulating, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education in the country on a continuous and sustained basis.
  • Setting up of National Education Technology Forum, a group of education leaders and government officials to discuss and advise on how to strengthen educational technology, and Centres of Excellence in Educational Technology in prominent institutions.
  • Training of the teachers through educational technology for the professional development of teachers.
  • Educational records management to be vested with a National Repository of Educational Data.
  • Public investment in higher education to be increased from the current 10% of overall public expenditure in education to 20%, over a 10-year period.
  • Substandard and dysfunctional technical educational institutions to be closed.
  • Setting up of a quasi-judicial body may be constituted for a mission-mode clean-up of teacher education.
  • New colleges to be started from 2020 onwards must only be autonomous colleges and no new affiliated colleges shall be started after 2020. From 2030 there will be no affiliated colleges and all colleges must develop to become autonomous degree-granting colleges or a university.

The policy has been placed in the public domain for consultation and will be finalised and presented in Parliament after taking feedback from various stakeholders.


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