ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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National Education Policy, 2020

An Uncertain Future for Indian Higher Education

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures, revamping of the entire regulatory structure to construct a system based on enhancing students’ choice in opting for courses assumes critical significance. This has the potential to obliterate the concepts of time and space associated with a university. This innocuous measure will serve the purpose of fostering competition among the higher education institutions to improve their performance primarily under the surveillance of the National Accreditation Council and other institutions, with a renewed thrust on going online amid the pandemic.

The National Education Policy (NEP) that was announced on 29 July 2020 is only the third education policy the Government of India has brought out since independence. The final version of the NEP as approved by the cabinet is an outcome of more than five years of deliberations and consultations. The draft of the National Education Policy, 2019 (DNEP) was placed before the nation in May 2019. The NEP has been announced at a time when the education sector as a whole is passing through a serious crisis of unprecedented disruption. In this article, I would like to tease out the possible implications of some of the policy measures pertinent to the construction of the regulatory framework as mooted in the NEP ostensibly for the purpose of overhauling the Indian higher education sector.

The Indian higher education system is poised for a total reconfiguration if the proposed regulatory structure with supp­ort from various institutions is installed. Reform of the higher education sector is more of a daunting challenge because of the typicality of the university governance structure. Further, education, which is in the concurrent list of the Constitution, poses challenges in a federal set up to take on board all the states for successful implementation of any aspect of a policy. However, the advent of technology in the realm of education is turning out to be a game changer. There is uncertainty as to how the future will shape up amidst the global- and national-level imperatives the universities have to negotiate with in the post-pandemic era in the context of a new global order.

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Updated On : 23rd Nov, 2020
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