‘Draft Education Policy gives boost to research, innovation’

Annual grant of ₹20,000 crore for research; Professional education to be part of higher education

July 10, 2019 01:27 am | Updated 01:28 am IST - MYSURU

Effecting change:  K. Kasturirangan, chairman, Drafting Committee, National Education Policy 2019, speaking at a symposium in Mysuru on Tuesday.

Effecting change: K. Kasturirangan, chairman, Drafting Committee, National Education Policy 2019, speaking at a symposium in Mysuru on Tuesday.

K. Kasturirangan, chairman, Drafting Committee, National Education Policy 2019, on Tuesday said the draft education policy has recommended merger of 900 universities and 40,000 colleges into around 15,000 large, well-resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions and the higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country would move towards becoming three types of universities.

Speaking on ‘Revitalising Higher Education in India: Recommendations of Draft National Education Policy 2019’ at a symposium organised by the Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka at University of Mysore here, he said the three types of universities include research universities which give equal focus on research and teaching; teaching universities that will lay primary emphasis on teaching with significant focus on research and autonomous degree granting colleges which will look into undergraduate education and research.

He said the draft policy has laid strong emphasis on catalysing and energising research and innovation in all academic disciplines with particular focus on State universities and colleges. A fund to encourage research in all universities and colleges has been recommended. An annual grant of ₹20,000 crore for research has been recommended which will be increased with time, the former ISRO chairman added.

He said the National Research Foundation will fund research across all disciplines and expand research and innovation at all universities and colleges, including private institutions.

Dr. Kasturirangan said school teacher preparation will be done at multidisciplinary universities and departments of education will be set up in universities to offer a four-year integrated, stage-specific B.Ed. The current two-year B.Ed. programme will continue until 2030. After 2030, only those institutions offering a four-year teacher education programmes can offer the two-year programme and no other kind of pre-service teaching preparation programmes will be offered. Substandard and dysfunctional teacher education institutes will have to be shut, he explained.

On the empowered governance and autonomy in higher education institutions, the chairman of Karnataka Knowledge Commission said the policy sees independent and self-governed HEIs. All HEIs will be governed by independent boards that will have complete academic and administrative autonomy. He said the affiliation will be stopped as affiliated colleges will be developed into autonomous degree granting colleges and the affiliating universities will be developed into vibrant multidisciplinary institutions.

Dr. Kasturirangan said the National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA) will become a single regulator for higher education, including professional education. The UGC will transform into Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC). A new General Education Council will develop national higher education qualification framework and specific standards for general education. All other regulatory bodies – MCI, AICTE, NCTE, BCI and others – will become standard setting bodies. There will be common regulatory regimes for public and private institutions.

Professional education will become an integral part of the higher education system and all institutes offering either professional or general education must develop into institutions offering both by 2030, Dr. Kasturirangan explained.

FVCK chairman S.N. Hegde, secretary R.N. Srinivasa Gowda, V-C G. Hemantha Kumar and Registrar Lingaraja Gandhi were present.

‘Committee to study inputs after July 31’

The Drafting Committee of the National Education Policy 2019 will examine feedback and suggestions submitted from across the country in response to its recommendations after July 31.

“Suggestions will play a critical role in the formation of the policy. The inputs on the draft can be submitted till July 31 and thereafter the committee will examine them,” said K. Kasturirangan, chairman, Drafting Committee, National Education Policy 2019. He added that 10-20% change in the draft policy was expected because of the inclusion of some valuable inputs. “Thereafter, the policy needs to be taken forward for the implementation.”

Policy favours spending 20% of GDP on education

Dr. Kasturirangan, said the draft National Education Policy - 2019 has suggested investing 20% of the country’s GDP on education. “We are hopeful that the policy will facilitate higher education reach its optimal level in the next ten years,” he added.

The former ISRO chairman was responding to a question on making higher educational institutions (HEIs) world-class and bringing quality with scarce funding, during an interactive session after a talk by him on the draft NEP 2019 at the University of Mysore. The symposium on the draft policy was organised by the Forum of Former Vice-Chancellors of Karnataka (FVCK).

Answering questions from retired V-Cs, academicians, teachers, and others, Dr. Kasturirangan defended the recommendation of trifurcating the university system and said that the move would help improve higher education.

Trifurcation of the universities had become inevitable with research universities focussing on research and innovation, teaching universities laying emphasis on teaching and autonomous institutions looking at undergraduate education. The number of teaching universities will be more than research universities, he added.

The former ISRO chairman said the policy has made the community an integral part of the education system with the local community involved in the affairs of school and higher education as well.

The chairman of Karnataka Knowledge Commission said the drafting committee has tried to address the concerns expressed over the proliferation of fake colleges and universities in the country. Some 1,000-plus such institutions had been identified and the MHRD would consider action against them.

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