03 Aug 2020, 12:00 pm By Rohit Sindhu
New Education Policy 2020 for Higher Education: NTA common entrance test & multi entry/ exit among Highlights

NEP 2020 for Higher Education: For Admissions into Universities, the principles for conducting entrance exams will be similar. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will work to offer a high-quality common aptitude test, as well as specialized common subject exams in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, and vocational subjects, at least twice every year. These exams shall test conceptual understanding and the ability to apply knowledge and shall aim to eliminate the need for taking coaching for these exams. Students will be able to choose the subjectsfor taking the test, and each university will be able to see each student’s individual subject portfolioand admit students into their programmes based on individual interests and talents.

NTA Common Entrance Test for Universities:

The NTA will serve as a premier, expert, autonomous testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for undergraduate and graduate admissions and fellowships in higher education institutions. The high quality, range, and flexibility of the NTA testing services will enable most universities to use these common entrance exams- rather than having hundreds of universities each devising their ownentrance exams- thereby drastically reducing the burden on students, universities and colleges, andthe entire education system. It will be left up to individual universities and colleges to use NTA assessments for their admissions. New Education Policy says.

Olympiads and competitions in various subjects will be conducted across the country, with clear coordination and progression from school to local to state to national levels, to ensure that all students may participate at all levels for which they qualify. Efforts will be made to make these available in rural areas and in regional languages to ensure widespread participation. Public and private universities, including premier institutions like the IITs and NITs, would be encouraged to use merit based results from National, and International Olympiads, and results from other relevant nationalprogrammes, as part of the criteria for admissions into their undergraduate programmes, NEP 2020 says.

Should Read- NEP 2020- Board & Entrance exams burden will be reduced

Entry / Exit Options in Higher Education:

The structure and lengths of degree programmes shall be adjusted accordingly. The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, NEP reads. Students will have 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. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor's programme, however, shall be the preferred option since it allows the opportunity to experience the full range of holistic and multi-disciplinary education in addition to a focus on the chosen major and minors as per the choices of the student.

Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) will also have the flexibility to offer different designs of Master’s programmes:

(a) there may be a 2-year programme with the second year devoted entirely to research for those who have completed the 3-year Bachelor ’s programme;

(b) for students completing a 4-year Bachelor ’s programme with Research, there could be a 1-year Master’s programme; and

(c) there may be an integrated 5-year Bachelor’s/Master’s programme. Undertaking a Ph.D. shall require either a Master’s degree or a 4 year Bachelor’s degree with Research.

Note- The New Education Policy states that M.Phil programme shall be discontinued after implementation of NEP.

Curbing Commercialization of Education:

Multiple mechanisms with checks and balances will combat and stop the commercialization of higher education. This will be a key priority of the regulatory system. All education institutions will be held to similar standards of audit and disclosure as a ‘not for profit’ entity. Surpluses, if any, will be reinvested in the educational sector.

There will be transparent public disclosure of all these financial matters with recourse to grievance-handling mechanisms to the general public. The accreditation system developed by NAC will provide a complementary check on this system, and NHERC will consider this as one of the key dimensions of its regulatory objective. All HEIs - public and private- shall be treated on par within this regulatory regime. The regulatory regime shall encourage private philanthropic efforts in education. There will be common national guidelines for all legislative Acts that will form private HEIs, New Education Policy says.

Technical Education:

Technical education being facilitated under AICTE, includes degree and diploma programmes in, engineering, technology, management, architecture, town planning, pharmacy, hotel management, catering technology etc., which are critical to India ’s overall development. There will not only be a greater demand for well qualified manpower in these sectors, it will also require closer collaborations between industry and higher education institutions to drive innovation and research in these fields, New Education Policy reads.

Furthermore, influence of technology on human endeavours is expected to erode the silos between technical education and other disciplines too. Technical education will, thus, also aim to be offered within multi-disciplinary education institutions and programmes and have a renewed focus on opportunities to engage deeply with other disciplines. India must also take the lead in preparing professionals in cutting-edge areas that are fast gaining prominence, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3-D machining, big data analysis, and machine learning, in addition to genomic studies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, with important applications to health, environment, and sustainable living that will be woven into undergraduate education for enhancing the employability of the youth.