What is the implementation plan of the NEP 2020 reforms?
Policy is aimed at transformative changes, not incremental ones. The school system changes from 10 + 2 to 5 + 3 + 3 + 4. Similarly, higher education is completely changed by multiple entrances and exits with multidisciplinary courses and an academic credit bank.
The phased implementation of the NEP will start this month, as stated in the cabinet note with more than 100 recommendations. The academic credit bank will be set up in the higher education sector by December 2020. The multiple entries and exits also take place from session 2020-21. The institutions of excellence will start early and then expand to central universities and willing state universities.
The recommendations are divided into non-financial and financial reforms, and the former are launched early. Many of the reforms do not require resources, but a new way of thinking. For example, multiple entries and exits are not related to financing, but rather to modular courses and the credit bank, making this possible.
There will be an implementation committee that will be continuously monitored and the reports will be submitted to CABE on a regular basis.
Should all reforms be implemented nationally immediately?
In many cases, we will pilot projects before we run them at the national level to ensure that the students are not affected. For example, the academic credit bank is first tried out in some IITs and central universities so that the system is 100% secure.
When should the four-year course be introduced?
IoEs are encouraged to start immediately in 2020-21, as some of them have already signed the letter of intent. And they can get on and off several times because the credit bank would have been operational at that point. Central universities that are ready can join by 2021 and by 2022 at the latest.
Will the credit bank also facilitate transfer between universities?
The current system does not allow cross-portability of credit between universities.
The new policy sets a fixed period between three and five years, within which one can return and use the loans.
The agreements between the universities through the Association of Indian Universities provide that those who join this new system will honor each other.
How will the proposed joint entrance test work?
The IITs, NITs and state engineering colleges previously had separate entrance exams. The tests became common with JEE. But JEE is voluntary for state engineering schools. It will be the same where all central universities will have common entrance tests. State universities have the freedom to join either immediately or later. And those countries that join the common entrance test and their languages are also introduced. If state universities join Assam, the test will also be conducted in Assamese. The details will be published from February to March 2021 and the first test will take place sometime in May 2021.
When will the Indian university commission be operational?
The cabinet notice has been prepared. However, the draft law will be made publicly available for a month to receive feedback sometime in September. The invoice is 90% complete.
What will happen to UGC, AICTE or NAAC?
They will be merged within the new organization. The invoice we are planning includes a cancellation and storage clause.
The NEP speaks of Indian institutions that set up campuses abroad and admit foreign universities here. IIT-Delhi has tried unsuccessfully to set up a campus in Mauritius earlier?
There was an agreement to set up a campus in Mauritius, but it could not start because the IIT Act and 1986 policies do not allow it. The law on the university abroad did not come into being either.
The UGC or the new supervisory authority must introduce new regulations. An invoice may be required to set up a foreign university in India.
However, the first step will be a partnership that leads to joint degrees between Indian and foreign universities that meet the same standard. Parliament’s approval is required to set up a fully-fledged foreign university campus. We are not thinking about this phase now.
Will all universities finally leave the affiliate system after 15 years?
The tiered autonomy is based on the accreditation and is not arbitrary. Universities with top grades can have the autonomy to award degrees. Let’s say a Hindu, St. Stephen’s, or Shri Ram college becomes autonomous graduate institutions, but the remaining colleges must be affiliated to some universities. The universities are gradually being encouraged to enter the autonomous class. But those who cannot become autonomous have to keep going within the university.
How will the ambitious 50% GER be achieved by 2035?
One of them is the expansion of the universities. There are more online courses. The online and ODL standards have already been relaxed. If we look to the future, people will most likely work and study at the same time. So ODL and online learning will be common.