he Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Education has recently released a new ruling on the educational policy, known as the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. This policy states that primary school education till the level of class 5 will now be taught in native languages as an attempt to promote regional linguistic learning across different linguistic zones of the country. Let us now look more closely at how the NEP 2020 is going to shape the future of higher education in India.

The effect on students at different levels

The NEP 2020 aims to open up multiple career pathways for students after completing their class 12. It has provided the opportunity for students to partake multiple entry and exit into the higher education system, allowing them to better assess their current needs and academic progress so that students are able to explore their strengths and weaknesses more freely. The NEP 2020 has also worked towards breaking down the rigid barriers between the different academic and co-curricular streams of education that can in many ways reduce the social stigma towards the latter. Moreover, students will be allowed to explore the field of vocational education from class 6 itself, according to the rulings of the NEP 2020.

The effect on academic practitioners

The initiation of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) program has brought added accountability to academic and teaching staff. Such educational practitioners will also be provided with the necessary training, employing a certification program and online teaching aids. The proposed increase in investment in educational infrastructure has resulted in a regular performance appraisal system for teachers that can further add to their motivation towards the job. Moreover, the high rates of transfers of teachers will be prevented by the NEP 2020, resulting in a stronger teacher-student bond that can help nurture a higher quality of learning experience at the school level. The NEP 2020 also allows for the promotion of educational practitioners strictly based on merit rather than experience and seniority.

What this means for colleges and universities

Since the NEP 2020 calls for the replacement of the UGC and AICTE with the Higher Education Commission of India, this will mean that universities would need to adhere to newer guidelines on structuring their courses to gain the approval of this authority. The NEP 2020 also grants colleges and universities the freedom to structure the master’s programs of different disciplines, and this can add pressure on the curriculum development committee of several colleges and universities. The setting up of a National Research Foundation can help universities to have better access to funding to encourage innovative and revolutionary research in different disciplines.

Multidisciplinary Universities

The NEP 2020 also states that all colleges and universities will now need to incorporate a multidisciplinary model that allows students to choose an academic stream of their choice. Private universities like Sharda University already offer their students such a choice and can set working examples for other universities as well.

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