Transforming the Education Sector
The Modi government, if the recent reply given by the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar in the Lok Sabha is any indication, has undertaken several landmark initiatives
National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) unequivocally endorses and envisions a substantial increase in public investment in education by both the Central government and all State Governments to reach 6% of GDP. The Policy also calls for rejuvenation, active promotion, and support for private philanthropic activity in the education sector. As far as the Ministry of Education is concerned, there has been an increase in budget allocation from Rs. 99,311.52 crore (2020-21) to Rs. 1,12,899.47 crore (2023-24), which is around 13.68 % increase. As per Analysis of Budgeted Expenditure on Education 2018-19 to 2020-21, total expenditure on education as percentage of GDP has shown an increasing trend and for the year 2020-21 it is 4.64%.
NEP 2020 provides for facilitation of research/teaching collaborations and faculty/student exchanges with high-quality foreign institutions. It also encourages high performing Indian universities to set up their campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India. Accordingly, UGC has issued ‘Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to offer Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes Regulations’ on 02.05.2022. It, inter-alia, promotes enhanced academic collaboration with foreign higher educational institutions leading towards academic and research excellence in the Indian higher educational institutions. Also, to promote affordable world class academic and research facilities, the World Class Institutions Scheme was launched in the year 2017. The regulatory framework of the scheme provides for identifying 10 institutions each from the public and private category to grant them the status of an ‘Institution of Eminence’ (loE). So far, 12 institutions have been notified as ‘Institutions of Eminence’ (loE) which include 08 institutions from the public category and 04 institutions from the private category.
Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) has also been implemented which seeks to tap the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs from abroad, including those of Indian origin, to augment the country’s existing academic resources. The Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between top ranked Indian Institutions and globally ranked foreign institutions, through joint research projects involving mobility of students and faculty.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up of campus of IIT Madras in Zanzibar- Tanzania has been signed between the Ministry of Education (MoE), Govt. of India, IIT Madras and Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MoEVT) Zanzibar- Tanzania, first ever IIT campus to be set up outside India. Similarly, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) to establish the 1st campus of IIT Delhi in Abu Dhabi.
As announced by Finance Minister in the Budget Proposal 2022-23, world-class foreign universities and institutions have been permitted in the GIFT City, Gujarat (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) to offer courses in Financial Management, FinTech, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics free from domestic regulations, except those by International Financial Services Centers Authority (IFSCA) to facilitate availability of high-end human resources for financial services and technology.
The details of some significant achievements made after the announcement of NEP 2020 for the past 3 years are as follows:
(i) PM SHRI for upgradation of schools, Under PM SHRI, Rs. 630 Crore were released as first installment to selected 6207 schools, out of more than 14500 PM SHRI Schools; with total cost of Rs. 27360 crore spread over a period of 5 years with central share of Rs. 18128 crore.
(ii) National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) for ensuring foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3;
(iii) Vidya-Pravesh–Guidelines for Three-month Play-based School Preparation Module;
(iv) PM e-VIDYA to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education:
(v) DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing) as One Nation One Digital Platform having e-Books and e-Contents,
(vi) Launch of National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF FS) and Jadui Pitara for play-based learning teaching material tailored for children between the age group of 3 to 8 years;
(vii) NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement) 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 Integrated Teacher Training Programme for different stages of school education for Teachers, Head Teachers/Principals and other stakeholders in Educational Management;
(viii) National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) for creating a unifying national digital infrastructure to energise and catalyse the education ecosystem;
(ix) Implementation of a scheme “New India Literacy Programme or ULLAS” targeting all non-literates age 15 years and above.
(x) National Credit Framework (NCrF) and National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF);
(xi) Academic Bank of Credit to facilitate Transfer of Credits;
(xii) Curriculum and Credit Framework for Undergraduate Programme;
(xiii) Multiple Entry and Exit in Academic Programme offered by Higher Education Institution;
(xiv) Transforming Higher Education Institutions into multi-disciplinary Institutions;
(xv) Pursuing two Academic Programme simultaneously;
(xvi) Revised regulation of ODL / Online Education permitting upto 40% credits of courses using SWAYAM platform;
(xvii) Guidelines on Professor of Practice to enable HEIs to work with industry experts;
(xviii) Regulations on Academic Collaboration between Indian & foreign HEIs;
(xix) Regulations on conferment of Autonomous Status to colleges;
(xx) Guidelines for admission & supernumerary seats for students from abroad in UG & PG in Indian HEIs;
(xxi) Regulations on Minimum Standards and procedures for award of Ph.D. degree.
(xxii) Guidelines for Incorporating Indian Knowledge in Higher Education Curricula;
(xxiii) Guidelines for Training/Orientation of Faculty on Indian Knowledge System (IKS);
(xxiv) Guidelines for the introduction of courses based on Indian heritage and culture;
(xxv) Guidelines for Empanelment of Artists/Artisans–in–Residence in Higher Educational Institutions;
(xxvi) 32 IKS centres have been set up to catalyze original research, education and dissemination of IKS; 64 high end inter-disciplinary research like ancient metallurgy, ancient town planning and water resource management, ancient rasayanshastra etc. projects are undergoing. Around 3227 internships on IKS have been offered.