New Education Policy (NEP): A Pledge to bring all round excellence in Higher Education
New Education Policy (NEP): A Pledge to bring all round excellence in Higher Education
Imparting high quality Education to an individual, shapes the bright future of the society, the nation and the world says iCloudEMS. The mission of our Indian Education system has always been the universal access to the best educational practices for comprehensive development goals on the subject of economic growth, civil rights, technology advancement, national integration, and cultural preservation.
With the expansion of the world’s knowledge sphere in the dimensions of latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and many more, it has become inevitable to produce a skilled workforce with multidisciplinary knowledge.
New Education Policy (NEP)-2020
Our current education system is lagging behind to cope with the fast pace of globalization and technology advancements. The Union Cabinet approved New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 with the vision to provide High quality Education to all irrespective of social and economic background. NEP paves the way towards scientific innovation and quality enhancement to make India, a knowledge superpower at global level.
Higher Education and NEP
Higher education has its significant role towards sustainable national and global progress. Our current Higher Education system lacks the ability enhancement and skill development of youth, and there has also been no changes in the Education policies for thirty-four years. So, empowering equity, efficiency and academic excellence in Higher Education has become the need of the hour.
On July,29th 2020, first education policy of 21st century was sanctioned under the aegis of The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to bring transformational reforms in Education sector. NEP 2020 replaces the current National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 and focuses on the holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary culture in Higher Education to bring out the unique capabilities of individuals.
The major area of thrust in NEP 2020 is related to the interdisciplinary, flexible and tech-savvy ecosystem in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). Following are the major reforms to be introduced in the present Higher Education System in line with new policy:
- Increase GER: The aim of NEP 2020 will be to escalate Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education including professional education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2030.
- Quality Enhancement in Universities and Colleges: The major steps undertaken towards all round Quality Enhancement of HEIs include:
- Heading towards growing the number of multi-disciplinary HEIs with at least one in or near every district;
- Moving towards a more interdisciplinary undergraduate learning;
- Working towards faculty and institutional autonomy;
- Revision and Revamping of all vital elements including curricula, pedagogy, assessment, evaluation and student support
- Establishment of a central body titled as The National Research Foundation to seed and cultivate quality research culture in universities and colleges.
- Board of Governance. to govern Academic, administrative and financial autonomy of HEIs.
- Establishment of an Academic Bank of Credit to digitally store the earned credits of individual from different HEIs.
- A single ‘light but tight’ regulatory framework for HEIs to protect integrity, transparency and resource efficiency.
- Motivating Inclusion, Access and Equity through various innovative measures comprising open schooling, online education and Open Distance Learning and scholarship provision at private/philanthropic universities for needy students.
- Upgraded Institutional Structure
A multidisciplinary and vibrant Higher Education culture has been envisioned with large and well-resourced institutions. Transformation of HEIs into large multidisciplinary universities and colleges to end fragmentation that offer undergraduate and graduate programmes and aiming to have 3,000 or more students. Universities will allow a range of institutions from Research Intensive Universities, Teaching-intensive universities and Autonomous degree granting Colleges (ACs) that will offer high quality teaching, research, and community engagement. Affiliation system will be eased in upcoming years and autonomy to colleges will be granted through a transparent and stage-wise mechanism of graded accreditation will be granted Accreditation. Over a few years every college is expected to develop into either an Autonomous degree granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
- More focus towards Holistic development
Holistic Arts Education is at the centre of NEP 2020 for all-round development of students. To strengthen holistic development, the choice of students will be preferred in opting engaging courses by multidisciplinary universities and colleges. Curriculum, pedagogical practices, assessment and evaluation, all vital components of academics are revamped taking cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking into account and for significantly less rote learning. Students will be provided internship opportunities with local industry, businesses, artists, crafts persons, villages and local communities, etc., to enhance their practical learning skills and for better employability options. Students will also be able to undergo research internships at any HEIs or research institutions.
With a multidisciplinary and flexible approach, NEP 2020 aims to increase students’ mobility at global level to study, transfer credits, or to do research at foreign institutions or vice versa. India is aimed to be promoted as a global study destination offering affordable premium education. High performing Indian Universities will therefore be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries and top foreign universities will be motivated to operate in India. A legislative structure will be composed for such universities and special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms will be given to them on par with other autonomous institutions of India.
- Student Participation and Support
A large number of participation opportunities in sports, culture/arts clubs, eco-clubs, activity clubs, community service projects, etc will be offered to students at all levels. All HEIs will have to make sure of the high-quality medical facility along with a counselling system to handle stress and emotional disturbances. More efforts will be put to galvanize merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer considerable number of scholarships to their students
- Reframing Teacher Education:
Considering the significance of creating a team of motivated and energized faculty members, NEP gives equal importance to reframing teacher education also. To prioritize integrity and credibility necessary to meet the prestige level of the teaching profession, the regulatory system is empowered to pull the plug on inoperative teacher education institutions that are not capable of meeting fundamental educational requisites.
Additionally, by 2030, the 4-year multidisciplinary and integrated B. Ed will be made as a minimum degree qualification for school teachers.
- Professional Education
Professional Education will become an indispensable element of higher education and thus it must also involve multidisciplinary knowledge and research. The existing stand-alone professional education institutes such as technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities are envisioned to become multi-disciplinary institutions by 2030, either by introducing new departments or by evolving into clusters. The standards of professional skills viz. technical, health and legal education are to be reconstructed to meet the globally competitive challenges.
- Enkindling High Quality Research
NEP 2020 focuses on catalysing high quality research culture in HEIs of India to find the solutions of real-world challenges. National Research Foundation (NRF) will be set up as an apex body to support funding and recognizing outstanding research in institutes. It aims for the comprehensive initiatives to permeate through universities and higher education institutions across India. NRF aims to cultivate research environments at State Universities and other public institutions where to expand their research capabilities. NRF shall also empower research in all academic disciplines viz. science, technology, social sciences, arts, and humanities to enhance multidisciplinary research and innovation across India.
- Technology-driven Education
NEP 2020 includes various innovative measures to nurture the mutual relationship between Technology and Education. Extensive use of technology to improve teaching and learning practices is to be promoted that eliminates language barriers for better educational planning and management. National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be established as an autonomous body to enhance the intellectual and institutional capacities of technology use in teaching and learning by providing a platform to enhance technology-driven landscape in HEIs. New directions will be formulated for Research and Innovation to ensure the integrated educational technology in an active learning environment. The accessibility of wide variety software will be increased for both students and teachers at all levels. Schools and HEIs will be motivated to incorporate Technology-based education platforms, such as DIKSHA/SWAYAM for utilizing user-friendly and qualitative e-content at their own comfort.
- Online Education and Digital Education:
Preparedness for online and distance education in terms of digital content, infrastructure and capabilities as an alternative mode will be safeguarded to support uninterrupted learning through unprecedented situations of epidemics and pandemics when chalk-and-board model does not work.
- Restructuring Regulation Mechanism
Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be evolved as a central entity to promote the synergy among the four essential functions of regulation, accreditation, funding, and academic standard with independent bodies towards common goals. It will cover four dedicated verticals comprising National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) as a single point regulator at prime matters for the higher education sector including teacher education and excluding medical and legal education. Second is the ‘meta-accrediting body’, called the National Accreditation Council (NAC) for standard setting and supporting graded accreditation. Third vertical of HECI will be the Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC), which will consolidate funding and financing of higher education based on development plans and execution on the same to maintain transparency of the system. The fourth vertical of HECI will be the General Education Council (GEC), which will structure expected graduated attributes or learning outcomes for higher education programmes in sync with the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) working towards the skill enhancement in Higher Education.
The regulatory body will function through an unbiased involvement through technology for regulation & will have powers to chastise HEIs not compliant to guidelines.
- Promotion of Indian languages
More programmes in Higher education will be promoted to ensure the use of mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction, and/or offer programmes bilingually, on account to improve GER and also to empower, usage, and vitality of all Indian languages.
- A National Mentoring Platform shall be created, with a large team senior/retired faculty who would be willing to facilitate short and long-term mentoring/professional support to teachers of colleges and universities
Some ground implementation challenges faced by HEIs in course of the implementation of NEP includes:
- Increasing GER demands the opening of HEIs at an exponential rate which is actually a herculean task.
- Redesigning of curriculum, which demands a number of trained faculty staff to understand the advanced pedagogical needs to deliver the required values.
- Supporting an inter-disciplinary system in HEIs calls for a cultural-shift from a traditional departmentalized paradigm to a multi-disciplinary one in all aspects.
- Digitization of campus is not a cake walk for the institutes in rural areas and requires a considerable time and investment of the resources.
- No fixed pathway or deadlines to bring uniformity in following the guidelines of New Education Policy nationwide.
The solution to overcome the above-mentioned challenges is to utilize the resources in creating a technology-enabled infrastructure to reform the educational framework. An integrated Education management system can help HEIs to enter in a digital era and cater the needs of all stakeholders while ensuring integrity, transparency and security of the system.
iCloudEMS is a market leader, offering a versatile cloud-based platform that provides unified solutions to furnish all the requirements to align the workflow in accordance to NEP regulations with its following key features:
- A web-based digital space to store massive data and records for quick and effortless access and process of required information.
- Innovative services to Empower the student-centric learning paradigm by designing and mapping learning outcomes with students’ performance.
- Smart solutions to perform imperative academic functions such as attendance record, timetable preparation, assignment uploading and many more with a couple of clicks only.
- Endorsement of opting and allotting desired courses and associated credits pursuant to holistic and multidisciplinary culture.
- Computerization of groundwork of regulatory exercises to save valuable time and efforts of the staff in performing repeated and tedious tasks.
- Student-lifecycle management system, to integrate the entire academic journey of all students on a dashboard.
- Interactive Learning management system to create engaging courses and delivery with modern teaching-learning practices.
- Online Classes and Examinations system to overcome classroom barriers and promising high-quality education even during critical situations.
- User-friendly and Easy to understand portal with full time training and assistance for the end users.
We are witnessing the power of technology in a global pandemic and now it’s the best time for the Education Institutes to invest in the digital empowerment of the campus. iCloudEMS can be a boon companion to improve the institutional management and streamline the institutional activities to upgrade the administrative and non-administrative standards with its cutting-edge technologies.