The Union Cabinet has released the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that restructures school education and higher education systems, and aims to transform the Indian education system by making it more holistic, flexible, and multidisciplinary.
Apart from setting a target to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education from 26.3% to 50%, here are some other changes made in the college education system.
Multiple Entry-Exit Systems with Appropriate Certifications
While the three-year traditional BA and BSc degrees will continue, the new policy has introduced a four-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s programme along with an option to exit and enter the course at any time.
If a student exits the programme after Year 1: they will receive a vocational certificate; Year 2: an Advanced Diploma; Year 3: Bachelor’s degree; Year 4: Bachelor’s degree with research.
Students can resume the course after a specified period prescribed by the Higher Education Commission
After a four-year degree programme, a student can directly do a year of Masters degree and then proceed for the PhD programme. The MPhil programme is being discontinued.
Credit Transfer and Academic Bank of Credits
Students will have an academic bank of credit. If he/she takes a break in the third year for a fixed period prescribed by the Higher Education Commission, he/she can utilise the credits stored in the digital locker whenever they wish to resume.
Credits can be earned through a multidisciplinary education approach.
A Single Regulator for Higher Education
The NEP 2020 alters the college education system and replaces the University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education with a single regulator — the Higher Education Commission of India. The new commission will carry out functions of regulation, funding, accreditation, and setting standards for learning outcomes.
Multidisciplinary Education Approach
Single-stream higher education institutions will be phased out over time, and all will move towards becoming multidisciplinary. A multidisciplinary institution is that which offers undergraduate and graduate programmes with high-quality teaching, research, and community engagement.
Even engineering institutions, such as IITs, will move towards a more holistic and multidisciplinary education approach with more arts and humanities courses.
University Nomenclature will be Done Away With in NEP
The terms such as ‘deemed to be university’, ‘affiliating university’, ‘affiliating technical university’ and ‘unitary university’ shall be replaced simply by ‘university’. According to the official notification, over time, the system of affiliated colleges will be gradually phased out, and institutions can hand out degrees by themselves.
To know more details about the National Education Policy, check the official notification here.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)