New Delhi : Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank central education minister wrote an article on new higher education system. In his article he reminded that India has a long tradition of holistic and multidisciplinary learning, from universities such as Takshashila and Nalanda, to the extensive literatures of India combining subjects across fields. This is exactly the kind of education that will be required for the 21st century and provided by the National Education Policy.
The education minister in his article said that Under the Policy, Higher Education Institutions will introduce imaginative and flexible curricular structures. This will enable creative combinations of disciplines for study, and would offer multiple entry and exit points. Thus, removing currently prevalent rigid boundaries and creating new possibilities for life-long learning. Graduate-level, master’s and doctoral education in large multidisciplinary universities, while providing rigorous research-based specialisation, would also provide opportunities for multidisciplinary work, including in academia, government, and industry.
He also opined that the structure and lengths of degree programmes shall be adjusted accordingly. The undergraduate degree will be of either 3-or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications. E.g., a certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, or a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year programme. However, the 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s programme shall be the preferred option since it allows the opportunity to experience the full range of holistic and multidisciplinary education in addition to a focus on the chosen major and minors by the student.
He made stress that an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established under the Policy. This Academic Bank of Credit would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognised HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned. The 4-year programme may also lead to a degree ‘with Research’ if the student completes a rigorous research project in their major area(s) of study as specified by the HEI.
He said that the New India as envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister will focus on research, innovation and development. The National Education Policy which is the first Policy of the 21st-century will lay the foundation stone of building that New India.