National Education Policy highlights: 10 reforms in colleges, universities

The Union Cabinet on July 28 gave its nod to a new education policy, called the National Education Policy 2020. The policy has, among other things, renamed the Human Resource Development Ministry as the Education Ministry and brought about ‘large-scale, transformational reforms’ in school and higher education sectors.

Here's all you need to know about reforms in the new education policy in higher education

1. UG Programme: 3-year and 4-year (FYUP) programmes

Under the NEP 2020, undergraduate degree will either be of a 3- or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options within this period. Colleges will have to give a certificate after completion of one year in any discipline or field, including vocational and professional areas; a diploma after two years of study; and a Bachelors’ degree after a three-year programme. For example, after completion of the first year of college, one could get a certification for that course, an advanced diploma after completing the second year, a bachelors’ degree after third years, and a bachelors’ degree with research after fourth year.

Govt will also establish an Academic Bank of Credit for digitally storing academic credits earned from different higher education institutions so that these could be transferred and counted towards the final degree earned. This would also allow students who have to drop out of their courses due to unavoidable circumstances to resume their programme at a later time from where they left it, rather than having to start over from the beginning of the course.

2. Target of 50% Gross Enrolment Ratio by 2035

The new education policy and reforms aim to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher educations, including vocational education, from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. For this, 35 million new seats will be added to higher education institutions.

3. Govt to set up National Research Foundation

The government will set up a National Research Foundation (NRF) with the aim to catalyse and energise research and innovation across all academic disciplines, particularly at the university and college levels.

4. SAT-like college test

The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct a common college entrance exam twice every year.

5. No affiliation

Over the next 15 years, colleges will be given graded autonomy to give degrees. Affiliation with universities will end, and these institutions will be given the status of ‘deemed to be university’.

6. NEP 2020: Cap on college fees

The New Education policy suggests a cap on fee charged by private institutions of higher education.

7. Going international

Top-rated global universities will be facilitated to come to India. Similarly, top Indian institutions will be encouraged to go global.

8. MPhil to be discontinued

MPhil would be discontinued, paving the way for students with masters' degrees to get PhD.

9. National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit

To ensure the preservation of all Indian languages, the NEP recommends setting up an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation, National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in higher education institutions.

10. Adult education under NEP

The National Education Policy (NEP 2020) aims to achieve 100 per cent youth and adult literacy.

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