Pranav Gupta, the founder of Ashoka university expresses his view on these new guidelines by UGC about the National Education Policy of India. University Grants Commission (UGC) released New Education Policy (NEP-2020) that had recommended ways to alter the education system of the country. The major suggestions include enhancing existing institutions by creating new departments and merging separate institutions with other multidisciplinary institutions. UGC also suggested to group nearby educational institutions into clusters so they may work together to deliver cutting-edge courses via distant, online or offline learning.
The participating colleges in a cluster will initially operate as affiliated colleges under the university, where they will pool resources to provide interdisciplinary programmes. The affiliating university can then attach the group of colleges as a singular institution that will gradually gain autonomy before becoming an independent group of colleges that confer degrees. Later, these might develop into institutions with a focus on teaching and research projects.
Pranav Gupta, Ashoka University Founder expresses his view on these new guidelines by UGC, “This New Education Policy has the potential to transform the foundations of education. In order to enable students acquire higher quality resources and study new courses, institutions with low enrollment and scarce resources may gain from creating partnerships with other institutions. Infrastructure growth, student enrollment, participation of departments, administrative and academic responsibilities and research initiatives must all be part of the collaboration strategy. The member institutions must plan it in a way that it avoids scheduling conflicts for students.”
One of NEP-2020’s suggestions for higher education is for the nation to have more trans-disciplinary institutions. The strategy statement has established a goal to make the higher education establishments in the nation as multifaceted by the year 2030 and to boost enrollment for students, ideally in huge numbers by 2040. By 2035, the gross enrollment ratio in higher education, including professional education courses, is expected to rise from 26.3% (as of 2018) to 50%. A greater gross enrollment rate can be attained by clustering and combining institutions in order to capitalize on the infrastructure already in place, without the need for extra investment. “In India’s educational history, NEP-2020 is a significant turning point. It will bring about the much-needed structural change in the pedagogical framework that emphasizes on practical and effective learning and provide students the skills they need for the competitive world. Multidisciplinary education, flexibility of choosing and learning, embedding of skills, academic bank of credits and employability are significant elements of the NEP-2020. Ashoka University is one of the few universities in the country that supports a multidisciplinary approach and an environment where students may thrive from the time of its inception. New institutions are required to fulfill the demands of the current workforce and those that already exist must be adequately resourced. As one of the few universities in the nation to take a liberal arts approach, Ashoka University is among the best liberal arts institution in Asia. Since students are free to choose their own educational route and are not compelled to enroll in a certain branch, Ashoka believes in acting in their best interests,” affirms Pranav Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
Alongside the possibility of creating a slew of new institutions to reach the main objectives, the NEP suggests that a significant portion of capacity building can be accomplished by enhancing and expanding the existing higher education institutes. The emphasis on multidisciplinary educational approach is a welcoming change, along with the focus on skill development of the students. A concern has been raised by experts about the source of the financial resources that will be required to accomplish the goals forwarded by NEP-2020. The UGC chairman, however, asserted that state governments will provide the financing required for the operation of interdisciplinary state-run institutions. However, in order for it to operate without a hitch, the provided guidelines need be transformed into rules so that state governments may easily execute them. “Due to the absence of faculty recruitment during the preceding few years at state and central universities, institutions are already operating at their optimum limits. So merging of institutions along with the multidisciplinary approach can help boost the education system in terms of teaching, learning, assessing, allocation of resources and productive research output. Many improvements have been proposed in the New Education Policy on theory, however for this policy to succeed on ground; additional institutions must be fashioned after universities like Ashoka who has been following a similar well-rounded strategy from the time of its inception. NEP-2020 is a ground-breaking approach but no one should expect that it will instantly go into effect in its entirety. The implementation will take place gradually and in phases so as to address any potential challenges that may occur,” concludes Pranav Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
Source : One India