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Internationalizing Indian Education by New Education Policy

The author through this article is discussing the changes made under New Education Policy,2020. This article also throws light on prior practices made to apply the bill for the betterment of the Indian Education system.

Introduction

Finally, a step has been taken by HRD Ministry for the improvement of the Education system of India, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal came with the New Education Policy (NEP),2020 which aims to upgrade the standards of Education in India. Now, this was much needed at the moment as during this pandemic situation the definition of education has been changed throughout the world which means no classes, no books, no campus but the students with their phones, laptops, and PCs attending lectures online and learning digitally.

Changes Made in NEP (New Education Policy), 2020:

  1. 10+2 board structure is dropped.
  2. The new school structure will be 5+3+3+4.
  3. Up to 5 preschools, 6 to 8 Mid School, 8 to 11 High School, 12 onwards Graduation.
  4. Any Degree will be for 4 years.
  5. Vocational courses available 6th standard onwards.
  6. Students from classes 8th to 11th can choose subjects.
  7. All graduation courses will have major and minor subject options.

    For Example - Science students can choose Physics as Major and Music as a minor subject. All combinations permitted.

  8. All higher education commissions will be governed by only one authority.
  9. UGC and AICTE will be merged.
  10. All University government, private, Open, Deemed, Vocational, etc will have the same grading and other rules.
  11. The New Teacher Training board will be set up for all kinds of teachers in the country.
  12. The same level of Accreditation for every college would be set up and accordingly, colleges will get autonomous rights and funds based on their respective ratings.
  13. The new Basic learning program will be created by the government for parents to teach children up to 3 years at home.
  14. The New Education Policy 2020 takes a step towards the internationalization of education by proposing a legislative framework that allows foreign universities to operate in India, and similarly, encourages high performing Indian universities to set up campuses in other countries.
  15. A credit system for graduation for each year student will get some credits that he can utilize if he takes a break in the course and comes back again to complete the course
  16. All school exams will be semester wise twice a year.
  17. The syllabus will be reduced to core knowledge of any subject only.
  18. More focus on student practical and application knowledge.
  19. For any graduation course if the student completes only one year he will get a basic certificate, if he completes two years then he will get a Diploma certificate and if he completes the full course then he will get a degree certificate.

What is the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010
Highlights of the Bill
The Bill seeks to regulate the entry and operation of foreign educational institutions seeking to impart higher education.

Every foreign educational institution intending to operate in India has to be notified as a foreign educational provider by the central government on the recommendation of the Registrar (Secretary of the University Grants Commission).

Foreign educational providers have to maintain a corpus fund of a minimum of Rs 50 crore. Up to 75% of any income generated from the corpus fund shall be utilized for developing its institution in India and rest should be put back in the fund.

The central government may exempt any institution, on the advice of the Advisory Board, from conforming to the requirements of the Bill except the penalty provision and the ban on revenue repatriation.

Key Issues and Analysis
There are three views on the issue of foreign educational institutions operating in India. Opponents argue that it would limit access and lead to commercialization. Proponents of the Bill argue that it would increase choices for students and enhance competition in the sector. Some experts support limited entry based on the reputation of the institution.

Present rules permit foreign universities to collaborate with Indian partners through various mechanisms. However, few globally renowned universities collaborate with India. It is not clear if the Bill would attract quality foreign universities given the stricter guidelines.

The Bill lacks clarity on what provisions the foreign institutions may be given an exemption from since they have to follow all other laws in force. This effectively means that they have to conform to standards set by statutory authorities on curriculum, methodology, and faculty and mandatory publication of the prospectus.

The Sowing of Seeds
The bill was introduced in 1995 for the first time, but obviously, it could not take off. Another attempt to allow entry of foreign varsities in India was made in 2005-06 but the draft legislation could not even get the approval in the Cabinet.

During the regime of UPA(United Progressive Alliance), the HRD Ministry brought a Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill led by ex-HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. The Bill gets green light in Lok Sabha but failed to pass muster in Parliament and eventually got lapsed in 2014 after the completion of the five-year term of UPA-II government.
Earlier in 2017, A strategy paper shared by the commerce ministry with the ministries of external affairs and HRD and the NITI Aayog in April 2015 advocated in favor of the internationalization of Indian education to earn foreign exchange. The revival of the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill was one of the four action points cited by the Commerce Ministry in the strategy paper.

The NITI Aayog was subsequently asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prepare a framework to provide a transparent and single-window clearance for foreign education providers.
The Niti Aayog cleared decks for the opening of the foreign varsities campuses in India after several months of inter-consultations on the matter.

It suggested the HRD Ministry to either bring in new legislation to regulate the entry and operation of foreign university campuses in India under the university grants commission (UGC) or amend the UGC Act of 1956 and its regulations to enable their establishment as deemed universities in the country.

Finally, the changes have been done under the New Education Policy, 2020 and the MHRD(Ministry of Human Resource Development) has also been renamed as the Ministry of Education.

The Single Regulator-HECI
Higher Education Commission of India or HECI will replace the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), and with that, two major higher education regulators will come under one umbrella, the other one being University Grants Commission (UGC). Officials from the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry - which looks after the education sector-told the news agency that a bill in this regard will be placed before the Cabinet next month.

The focus would be on using extensive technology and reduce human interface which will ensure efficiency and transparency in their work. The separation of all the functions in different verticals would mean that each vertical within HECI will be taking on a new and single role which will be relevant meaningful and important according to New Education Policy 2020.

According to the government:
the HECI move will help to comprehensively reform the regulatory system of higher education to promote greater autonomy and focus on better academic outcomes.

After the HRD Ministry released the draft Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) Act, 2018 in June last year for public consultation, it had received over 8,000 comments and suggestions from the public and stakeholders.

The HRD Ministry had stated earlier that less government and more governance, separation of grant-related functions, end of inspection raj, powers to enforce compliance with the academic quality standards and to order the closure of sub-standard and bogus institutions are some of the highlights of the HECI Act, 2018.

References:
  • https://thewire.in/education/foreign-universities-campus-india-mhrd
  • https://www.prsindia.org/sites/default/files/bill_files/Foreign_Educational_Institutions_Regulation_of_Entry_and_Operations_Bill__2010.pdf
  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Foreign-Universities-Bill-cleared-for-introduction/article16567357.ece
  • Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill 2010
  • University Grants Commission Act, 1956
  • https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-foreign-educational-institutions-regulation-of-entry-and-operations-bill-2010-1139

Written By Vishesh Kumar

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