National Education Policy 2020 Outlines Higher Education Reforms For India
Students study in the library at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg News)  

National Education Policy 2020 Outlines Higher Education Reforms For India

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The new National Education Policy 2020, approved by the Union Cabinet Wednesday, has outlined for higher education reforms in India.

Some of these are:

  • Choice between three- or four-year undergraduate courses
  • Multiple entry and exit options in degree courses
  • 3.5 crore more seats in higher education institutions
  • Discontinuation of Master of Philosophy, or MPhil, programmes

The National Education Policy 2020 aims to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% in 2018 to 50% by 2035, Amit Khare, secretary in the central Human Resources Department said on Wednesday. About 3.5 crore new seats will be added to higher education Institutions, he said.

The undergraduate degree will be of either three- or four-year duration with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications:

  • A certificate after completing one year in a vocational and professional course
  • A diploma after two years of study in a vocational and professional course
  • A bachelor's degree after a three-year programme

"The four-year multidisciplinary bachelor's programme shall be the preferred option since it allows the opportunity to experience the full range of holistic, multidisciplinary education in addition to a focus on the chosen major and minors as per the choices of the student," Khare said.

According to the new policy, the system of affiliation will be phased out over 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism for granting graded autonomy to colleges, through a transparent system of graded accreditation, will be established.

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.

The policy has called for a single higher education regulator called Higher Education Commission of India. Medical and law colleges will be kept out of its purview.

Also Read: National Education Policy 2020: Key Highlights

"The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education,” Khare said. “Internationalisation of education will be facilitated via both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top-ranked universities to open campuses in our country.”

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