By Sudakshina Kundu Mookerjee
So far, the graduation courses in general streams of science, humanities and commerce in Indian colleges have consisted of three years of training at the end of which the students were awarded bachelor’s degrees. Earlier some of the Universities awarded bachelor degrees in ‘Pass’ courses without any specialisation, after two years while an honours or specialisation course was all of three years. However, some special institutions of excellence were allowed to offer a four years-long graduation courses, especially for students who wanted to go for specialised higher degrees.
Under the proposed system, all these courses will follow a different pattern with the Under-graduate courses will be of three or four years, with a number of entry and exit policies with provision for a certification after 1 year of training or a 2-years diploma course. The graduation degree will be awarded after 3 years while a more advanced ‘multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree’ will be awarded after four years of specialisation.
The M.Phil. degree will be discontinued and scholars will be able to pursue their doctoral studies after successfully earning their post-graduation degree.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) will be replaced by the A Higher Education Council of India (HECI), which like its predecessor will regulate higher education and aim to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GRI). It will have four verticals, i) the National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERI) which will regulate the higher education as well as teachers’ training, without dealing with both Medical and Legal Education, which will be outside its purview; ii) the National Accreditation Council (NAC) will deal with accreditation like before; iii) the Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) will be formed by merging the present UGC, All India council of Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE) and it will deal with disbursing grants to and financing the Universities and Colleges; iv) General Education Council (GEC) to frame the learning outcomes that are expected at each stage of learning by defining the National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF).
A Professional Standard Setting Body (PSSB) will be set up to standardise professional courses that are previously governed under the different professional bodies like Veterinary Council of India (VCI), Council of Architecture (CA), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET).
All the entrance examination for admission to the Universities across the countries will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTE) which will also be responsible for conducting the JEE-mains and the NEET examinations.
The Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) will become a four-year course and all teachers much have a four-year B.Ed. degree in order to become a teacher by 2030.
The institutes of excellence like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)s, the National Institutes of Technology (NIT)s, the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER)s, Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT)s, etc will revise their curriculum to encourage diversity of learning. Finally, the NEP 2020 encourages Foreign Universities to open their branches in India so that education may be internationalised. However, the fees for both private and public institutes will be regulated by the state.
We need to analyse the fallouts of the present modifications in a more realistic way by assessing both the possible positive and negative impacts.