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16 February, 2021

5 Min Read

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020- Structural reforms

National Education Policy (NEP) 2020- Structural reforms

Introduction

  • The Central government’s New Education Policy (NEP) is back in focus with the easing of COVID-19 pandemic.

Need to restructure the governing bodies for universities and autonomous colleges

  • Appointments of vice-chancellors: The system of appointments of vice-chancellors and syndicates, or governing councils, the key authorities for any university, needs to be revised.
    • The appointments are often mired in controversies, with frequent reports in the past of aspirants for the post of vice-chancellors and membership of syndicates indulging in unethical practices to gain favour.
    • NEP talks of creating new structures, such as a Board of Management, to replace the syndicate system.
  • Board of Management: The vice-chancellor as chairman, the Board should consist of former vice-chancellors drawn from other universities, members drawn from industry, the alumni, eminent public intellectuals, principals of affiliated colleges on rotation and members representing the non-teaching staff.
    • The Board’s decisions should be taken by consensus or by a majority of the members present.
    • Proceedings should be conducted in virtual mode and made available for stakeholders’ viewership.
  • Search committees: For the appointment of vice-chancellors of universities, search committees constituted for such purposes must be thoroughly restructured.
    • The government’s and chancellors’ role in such committees must be done away with.
  • Government nominees: The practice of having government nominees, chancellor’s nominees and university nominees should be stopped and it should be replaced by drawing an eminent former vice-chancellor or academician of proven integrity and administrative capability for the post of chairman.

Transparent procedures

  • Applications for the post of vice-chancellors can be invited through advertisements on the university website and through newspapers.
  • Biodata of candidates must also be published on the websites.
  • The committee may then allot marks to candidates’ scholarship in terms of teaching and research, administrative capabilities, and capacity for fundraising.
    • The scores obtained by candidates should be consolidated and the names of shortlisted candidates then submitted in the order of merit to chancellors for deciding on formal appointments.
  • Academic audit: Another important issue is accountability of faculty, and the best way to ensure that is to put in place an institutional structure of ‘academic audit’.
  • Self-appraisal reports: Their annual self-appraisal reports can be evaluated by external peers and their recommendations should be strictly implemented.
  • Guest faculty: There is an urgent need to overcome faculty shortage by recruiting teachers in order to overcome the existing trend of higher educational institutions relying on guest faculty.

Conclusion

  • In order to improve the higher education ecosystem, excellence in teaching, research, innovation, entrepreneurship and social contribution must be encouraged.
  • The NEP’s recommendations, like the introduction of four-year courses that have the option of re-entry and exit, one- or two-year postgraduate courses, and setting up of an Academic Bank of Credit for credit transfers, may be helpful.

Read more on NEP,2020 - Click here

Source: TH

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