The quality of research and innovations outputs in India will have to improve to better contribute towards taking India to a $5 trillion economy, K Kasturirangan, eminent scientist and chairman of the National Education Policy (NEP), said in Pune on Saturday.
He was addressing a day-long seminar — ‘National Education Policy (NEP) 2019’ — jointly organised by the Centre for Educational Development Administration (CEDA) and Sir Parshurambhau College (SP) in the city.
“Over the years, the quality of research at over 800 of our universities has suffered badly and the innovations have remained poor. If India is targeting to become a $5 trillion economy, we will have to strengthen our research and innovations,” said Kasturirangan, who stated that the proposed NEP has recommended Rs 20,000-crore seed funding for research-based activities in colleges, universities and institutions.
While the NEP is under the consideration of the Union government, the policy has, according to those involved in the drafting, received support and acceptance of 75 per cent stakeholders.
The NEP chairman elaborated on the various recommendations submitted as part of the 2019 policy. Speaking on the occasion, Bhushan Patwardhan, vice-chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC), said some proposals of the NEP have already been implemented.
Secondary school and undergraduation
Kasturirangan said skill-based learning will be introduced at secondary school level and at undergraduate (UG) level, a foundation course will offer liberal learning. Rather than the present UG coursework, the proposed course will be of four years and have multiple-level entry and exit options for students, he said.
In case of higher education, the NEP has identified three types of institutions — autonomous or affiliated colleges, teaching and research institutes and research institutions. The NEP has proposed that the UGC head all these institutions. While UGC will not deal with matters pertaining to the university or college accreditation, the NEP has proposed setting up of a National Education Regulatory Authority (NERA) that will also look into inculcating skill-based education to professional courses, besides managing accreditation of institutes.
The NEP has proposed renaming the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to Ministry of Education, said Kasturirangan, adding that there was a proposal for setting up a National Education Commission.
“This commission, to be headed by the Prime Minister, will not only keep track of all research activities but also offer advice from time to time, keeping up with the dynamic changes occurring at various national and international levels,” he said.