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Empowering India through Quality Education

  • National Policy on Education 2016, is being formulated nearly 3 decades since the last Policy.

  • Recognizes the criticality of Education as the most important vehicle for social, economic and political transformation.

  • Education is a powerful tool for preparing our citizens in the knowledge society.

  • Education is a great leveler and provides only sustainable route to reduce disparities.

Context and Objectives of the New NPE

Objective of the New NPE, 2016:

  • Necessarily be a clear articulation of meaning and goals of education in Indian context.

  • In coming years it should include four essential components- i.e. building values, awareness, knowledge and skills.

  • Economic objectives (i.e. creating human capital), to develop pride in India and in being an Indian.

  • Education should foster peace, tolerance, secularism and national integration.

Inculcation of Values through Education:

  • Education has little meaning without development, nurture and internalization of values.

  • Erosion of values is adversely impacting human life in practically every sector of activity.

  • India has suffered serious consequences arising out of increasing threat of terrorism and fundamentalism.

  • Justice J.S. Verma Committee Report (1999) expounded that, along with fundamental rights.

  • Every teacher is to be prepared to internalize that apart from his professional readiness and responsibility.

  • He is a role model, inculcator of values and is expected to lead a value - based life.

  • Creating and maintaining a congenial school environment.

  • Enabling the teachers in inculcating social values to the students and to get children to learn that every act, action and activity is equally important.

  • To equip and enable students to remain relevant in a globalized, digital world.

  • Preamble and Chapters on Fundamental Rights and Duties must form part of the education of every citizen.

Constitutional & Legal Provisions relating to Education:

  • Under 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, education was transferred to the Concurrent List in the 7th Schedule.

  • Entry 66 to maintain the required standards of higher education.

  • Number of institutions specified in Entries 63, 64 and 65 of the Union List fall exclusively within the competence of the Central Government.

  • National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) was established in 1994.

  • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was established in 1987.

  • The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) has been set up.

  • NCTE, MCI, DCI, INC, BCI, PCI, ICAR, Rehabilitation Council of India, CCH and CCIM, Distance Education Council, National Council for Vocational Training, etc., which regulate the standards of education in various professional field.

  • Fundamental Rights

  • Religious Instruction/Worship

  • Non Discrimination in Education

  • Rights of Minorities

  • Education for Weaker Sections

  • Provisions with Regard to Language

    • Linguistic Rights of Minorities

    • Instruction in the Mother Tongue

    • Promotion of Hindi

  • Right to Education (RTE)

Earlier National Policies on Education:

  • First National Policy on Education (NPE) formulated by: Government of India in 1968.

  • Based on the recommendations of the Indian Education Commission (1964 - 66), also known as the Kothari Commission.

  • NPE was adopted by the Parliament in May, 1986.

  • District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) was started in mid - 1990s.

  • NPE of 1986 as modified in 1992.

  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2000

  • The Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act) has imposed legal obligations on the Central and State Governments.

  • The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme, operational since 2000 – 2001.

  • The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), launched in 2009.

  • The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) was launched in 2013.

The State of Education in India:

  • Elementary Education (Classes I - VIII): In 2014 - 15, there were 14 lakh schools in the country imparting elementary education, with a total enrolment of 19.77 crore.

  • Surveys Relating to Quality of Education: The 2014 survey found that nearly half of the grade V students were not able to read at grade II level; and nearly same proportion of grade V students did not have the basic arithmetic skills, which they should have learned by the end of grade II (ASER, 2015).

  • Secondary & Higher Secondary Education (Classes IX to XII): Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), is the most important programme aims at achieving a GER of 100% by 2017 and universal retention by 2020.

  • Higher Education: Total enrolment in higher education in 2014 - 15 was 3.33 crore.

  • Institutions of higher learning in India consist of:

    • Central Universities established by an Act of Parliament

    • State Universities established by State Legislatures

    • Deemed Universities recognized as such by the Central Government on the recommendation of the UGC.

    • Private Universities established by various State Governments through their own legislation.

    • Institutes of National Importance declared as such by the Government of India by an Act of Parliament.

Need for a New National Policy on Education

  • NPE was last reviewed in 1992, these need to be taken into account in formulating a new NPE for the coming decades.

  • Earlier policy was robust in conception and orientation.

  • It had laid out clear objectives and goals.

  • Improve the infrastructure facilities in schools to every child between ages of 6-14,

  • Education and public health are possibly two most important development vectors in a democracy.

  • Improvement in infrastructure, Quality of school education, Inadequate stress in early childhood years, a renewed look at policies in this regard, as also on a framework for implementation has become imperatively urgent.

  • ‘No detention policy’ needs to be examined, to ensure that it is optimally and judiciously implemented.

  • Despite references in the earlier policies to Early Childhood Education, there are no systems firmly in place to ensure this.

  • There is no clearly laid out policy in respect of private participation in the education system, both at the school and higher education levels.

  • In an aspirational society, it is natural that parents desire their children to obtain ‘good’ education.

  • All higher educational institutions are not expected to engage in academic research.

  • Overall engagement and accomplishments in the field of research leaves much to be desired.

  • Despite the disparity in women’s participation in higher education having been enunciated from 1968 policy.

  • ICT now provides new and potentially highly effective vehicle for advancing quality of education at all levels, this issue needs to be seriously explored and alternatives expounded.

  • Necessary to recognize the ground conditions, if any 36 major improvements is to be attempted.

  • The Government of India launched several social and developmental initiatives which need to be taken into account in the new NPE.

  • New technologies and disciplines have emerged and new knowledge and insights are being generated at a rapid pace.

  • Issue of quality has hitherto effectively been relegated to the background.

  • It is currently being administered and implemented, and articulates a new NPE.

Governance in Education

Recommendations of Administration and Management of Education:

  • Independent mechanism for teacher recruitment.

  • Recent TET mechanism (with appropriate safeguards) will ensure good quality recruitment of teachers.

  • Creation of an Autonomous Teacher Recruitment Board.

  • Revamp of teacher education system and introduction of 4 year integrated B.Ed. Course or 2 year B.Ed. Course after graduation.

  • Well thought out teacher preparation systems.

  • Effective monitoring of teacher performance, with built - in incentive systems.

  • Great care in selection of Principals, and vesting them with appropriate freedom for action.

  • Build an effective quality monitoring system, linking schools on hierarchical management system, at block / district / state level.

  • New transparent system for approval, affiliation and regular evaluation of new institutions.

  • Bringing accountability at each level of operation.

  • Appropriate use of IT in every aspect of governance of the sector.

Use of ICT for Improving Quality of Education:

  • Background: Use of ICT in education.

  • IT as aid to the teacher in the classroom.

  • IT to aid in remedial education.

  • IT for use in training of teachers.

  • IT for adult literacy.

  • IT modules as learning tools in higher education.

  • Use of IT for ‘big - data’ as a management and governance tool.

Recommendations of Constitution of a Standing Education Commission:

  • High level standing education commission be established, with mandate to continually study the evolving circumstances.

  • Implementation of progress of policies pronounced and provide timely advice and guidance to the ministry.

  • Practice of issuing a ‘National State of Education’ report periodically perhaps once in two years.

  • Commission will comprise of limited number of experts and persons of eminence who have special knowledge and experience of the education sector in India, supported by a small secretariat.

Recommendations of Need to Restrict Political and Other Distractions in University and College Campuses

  • A careful and non - emotional examination of issue of permitting chapters of national political parties, or caste/community based organizations within campuses of universities.

  • A debate on desirability of allowing students to continue in campuses for long periods, even after the normal schedules for each course.

  • Revisit of the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Committee as they have found support from the Apex Court.

  • Student groups that are explicitly based on caste, religion, or any political party should be abjured through statues governing the universities and institutions.

Recommendations of Creation of an All India Education Service:

  • Establishment of a new Central service, Indian Education Service (IES).

  • It will function as an All India Service; with officers being on permanent settlement to various state governments, and MHRD being the cadre controlling authority.

  • Part of the manning of the national institutions attached with MHRD could also come from this cadre.

Recommendations of Dealing with Litigation:

  • Very heavy volume of litigation, mainly concerning service matters, but also relating to other administrative disputes, pending in the various wings of MHRD, and related agencies of the Ministry.

  • Appeals will naturally lie to other courts; but this device should sharply decrease the volume of litigation involving the ministry, and consequent expenditure of time, energy and resources.

  • State Governments may appoint one or more such tribunals at the state headquarters and at other centres in the state, to deal with litigation concerning service matters, and other disputes, with a tight time schedule.

  • It is proposed that these tribunals could be headed by retired district or high court judge, comprising of 2 retired or serving secretary level officers.

Recommendations of Public Expenditure on Education:

  • Committee recommends that the outlay on education should be raised to a minimum level of 6% of GDP with immediate effect.

  • Additional funding needs to be found for meeting the needs of ECCE as recommended elsewhere in the report.

  • Separate needs for vocational/skills training, in large scale, are also imperative; additional financing, outside the 6% referred to would need to be found.

Recommendations of Need for Special Academic and Other Support to Children from Socially and Economically Weaker Sections:

  • Need a special helping hand to guide children, with some extra training or coaching or advisory facility to enable them fully to use their educational opportunities.

  • In general, many such children need assistance and help particularly in three stages during their educational career:

    • Period of primary schooling: Important to learn basics of ‘language’ and ‘arithmetic’.

    • Early class 11 phase: Courses become tougher, a system to help them feel at home in the extra competitive atmosphere of the class.

    • Early periods in technical courses, rural youngsters: To acclimatize them to prevailing circumstances and conditions of urban learning centres.

  • Well thought out programme may be evolved, based on local resources, conditions and circumstances to assist students in these critical periods.

School Education:

Structure and Delivery of School Education:

  • Delivery of school education through small, non - viable schools with low enrolment, inadequate teachers, poor facilities and high per pupil cost has adversely impacted the quality of school education in India.

  • Enable the country to achieve one class – one teacher norm in a foreseeable future.

  • Recommends expansion of open schooling facilities to enable dropouts.

  • Working children to pursue education without attending formal schools.

  • Centre in consultation with States should issue common guidelines for mergers and consolidation without diluting the spirit of easy access laid down by RTE Act.

Teacher management:

  • Teacher Shortages

  • Teacher Absenteeism

  • Teacher Recruitment and Transfers

  • Teacher Grievance

  • School Leadership: Role of Headmaster/Principal

  • Teacher Education and Training

Recommendations:

  • There is a competent and committed cadre of teachers, quality of school education cannot improve.

  • There is an urgent need to address major issues relating to teacher shortages, absenteeism, recruitment and transfers, teacher grievances, and professional development of teachers in a comprehensive and effective manner.

Recommendation of Teacher Education, Deployment and Professional Development

  • State Governments should gradually convert existing B.Ed. to integrated courses by offering preferential employment to such graduates.

  • An advanced one-year diploma course for secondary teachers may be prescribed to enable them to teach in higher secondary classes.

  • For hilly, tribal and inaccessible areas, alternative models of pre - service training need to be explored to improve the quality of teachers.

  • For entry in existing B.Ed. courses, there should be minimum eligibility condition of 50% marks in graduation.

  • Recommends strict application of TET for recruitment of all teachers.

  • 2 - Month compulsory vacation training every five years for existing teachers.

  • Compulsory licensing or certification for teachers of Government and private schools.

  • Teachers Unions and Associations should be encouraged to take up academic responsibilities and to contribute effectively to curriculum and text book development.

  • Centre and States should jointly prepare norms and guidelines for teacher accountability.

Recommendation of School Governance and Management:

  • Education system should have flexibility to encourage initiatives at the school level.

  • Recommends that a school - led governance system.

  • Recommends a separate cadre of school principals, selected on merit and aptitude, from among the teachers with at least 5 years of teaching experience.

Recommendation of ICT as an Additional Tool in School Management:

  • Tools like GIS mapping, ranking of schools according to remoteness and infrastructure/human resource availability should be done for all schools at district level.

  • Online maintenance of student’s records and teacher attendance should become mandatory for all schools.

  • ICT based reporting system need to be converted to become an effective tool for improving school management and school performance.

25% Reservation for Weaker Sections and Disadvantaged Groups

  • Constitutionality

  • Social Acceptance of Section 12(1)(c)

  • Administrative Lacuna Removal – a Work in Progress

  • Study on Benefits to 75% in Private Schools

  • Application of EWS Quota to Religious and Linguistic Minority Institutions

Recommendations:

  • Clause 12(1)(c) Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education can assist in furthering a significant social objective. Committee does not recommend review of this provision.

  • Issue of extension of Clause 12(1)(c) of RTE Act to minority institutions needs a review.

Recommendation of No Detention Policy:

  • It should be continued, but only till primary stage of elementary education, up to Class 5, when the child will be 11 years old.

  • Separately it should be explored whether the advances in technology will provide an additional ‘augmentation’ to help the slow - learner’s make-up for lost ground.

  • Committee reiterates that this change should not be seen as being in any way regressive or as taking away a legal right which had been earlier accorded to children.

Recommendation of Need to Amend the RTE Act, 2009

  • RTE Act needs to be amended to provide, in addition to infrastructure requirements, norms for learning outcomes which directly affect quality of education.

  • Infrastructure norms for recognition of private schools should also be applied to Government schools.

  • States should be given flexibility to determine their own norms for infrastructure requirement consistent with local conditions.

  • Local norms should be evolved for ‘alternate schools’, adopted to local conditions as appropriate.

Recommendations of Vocational Education and Training (VET):

  • The ongoing initiative of MHRD in implementing NSQF compliant skills programmes in secondary and higher secondary schools, through NSDC approved TPs, needs to be scaled up to cover larger number of students.

  • The skills programmes offered in these centres should meet the requirements of NSQF.

  • It may be supported by Government sponsored skill development schemes such as Prime Minister Kaushal Vikash Yojana (PMKVY) and others.

  • An organised intervention for counselling the students on career options may be designed and introduced in the schools.

  • Government of Gujarat has already introduced such a system and MSDE has taken up this for national level notification with the MHRD.

Pre School Education:

  • At present, government schools provide education to children from the age of 6 (in some States from age 5) onwards.

  • Early childhood is a very essential period of life, when the foundations are laid for cumulative lifelong learning and human development.

Recommendation:

  • ECCE for children from 4 to 5 years of age should be declared a right.

  • Programme for pre - school education needs to be implemented without delay.

  • All children in the age group 4 to 5 should now be eligible le to be covered for pre - school education; the system needs to be adapted.

  • At present, committee recognizes that ICDS Aanganwadis are not adequately equipped to provide preprimary education.

Recommendation of Education of Children with Special Needs:

  • Ongoing centrally sponsored scheme addressing children with learning difficulties.

  • It should continue but the funding should have a relationship with number of children falling in the category and identified by the schools but collated centrally.

  • An Independent Board may be set up under the state Education Acts to oversee the implementation of the scheme, by obtaining six - monthly reports from the districts.

  • An organisational structure for managing this segment of children at the district level should be incorporated in the State Education Act.

  • Central Government takes lead in encouraging the states to establish a nodal entity under the State School Acts.

Recommendations of Education of Tribal Children:

  • Their enrolment rate is lower and dropout rate higher than others; they have much lower representation in technical, engineering and medical courses.

  • Their experience be studied and a dialogue started on the proposal.

  • Special focus on skill education for tribal areas.

  • Opportunities for skill education need to be woven in the education streams in tribal areas.

Recommendations of language Policy:

  • The medium of instruction up to Class V must be mother tongue or regional language.

  • Three Language Formula (TLF) has been a part of the Education Policy of the country right from 1968 and continued through 1986/92.

Recommendations of Sports and Physical Education:

  • NEP of 1986/92 had laid significant stress on sports and physical education to be part of the schooling process.

  • Committee, during its field visits and in discussions with local authorities and school management, observed that in general inadequate stress is given to this aspect of schooling.

  • Yoga can play a significant part in the development of a young student.

Recommendation of Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms:

  • Need to relate to the emerging aspirations and national needs that include social cohesion, religious amity and national integration.

  • There is need to reduce curriculum load and avoidable emphasis on rote learning.

  • To improve formal teaching standards in schools.

  • Guiding Principles for curricular reform enunciated by NCF 2005 are valid and need to be implemented vigorously.

  • Committee is satisfied that the examination system needs serious reform.

  • Examination should be designed to test understanding rather than regurgitating text book script.

  • Many Boards also follow the practice of granting grace marks to artificially inflate pass percentage. This practice should be discontinued.

  • Committee recommends experts should examine the feasibility of percentile system for our Board examinations.

  • System of online - on - demand Board examinations should gradually be tried out as this will offer flexibility and reduce year end stress for students and parents.

Recommendation of restructuring Class 10 Examination:

  • Some subjects can be offered at higher and lower level, permitting students to choose the level at which they wish to write Class X Board Examination.

  • Class X Board Examination in Mathematics and Science should be in 2 levels: Part A at higher level and Part B at a lower level.

  • Syllabus for all students will be same, examinations in Mathematics and Science subjects in Part B would be of a lower level than examinations for Part A.

  • Students should have freedom to exercise their choice.

Recommendations of Protection of the Rights of the Child:

  • To start with every Principal and teacher needs to be made aware of the provisions of the Act and what constitutes a violation of a child’s rights.

  • Principals must be encouraged to set a personal example by showing zero tolerance for any untoward incident.

Recommendations of School Children and Public Health:

Centre and State Governments should sponsor widespread experimentations to implement this idea on the ground, to explore viable options.

Academic Counselling and Aptitude Testing:

  • Identifying and Guiding Students with Special Needs as a Support to Class Teacher.

  • Counselling for Underachievers.

  • Identification of students who may have manual dexterity or ability to learn trades.

Recommendations:

  • Students receive early guidance and support in finding placement in local industries.

  • Competent counsellor would be able to recognize the special aptitude and skills of children from an early age.

Recommendations of Mid Day Meal (MDM) Scheme

  • Committee endorses objectives of MDMS and recommends its expansion and universalization to cover all children studying in elementary schools.

  • Mid - day Meal Programme should also be extended up to secondary level.

  • Their experience should be studied and if found satisfactory then it can be replicated in other states.

  • Too many intermediary levels of fund flow should be reduced to ensure that the required funds reach the implementing agencies in time.

  • Micro - nutrients, vitamin supplements and de - worming tablets should be provided to the children.

  • Programme to be re - examined in its fundamentals, whenever there is an incident of food poisoning or other social issue.

Recommendations of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVS), Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs)

  • Provide high quality of education even while fulfilling a social objective and operating within the constraints of a bureaucratic system.

  • Reasons for success of Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas studied by independent experts.

  • Results available to all State Governments to help them improve their own Government schools.

  • Aim to reach the average quality of a Kendriya or Navodaya Vidyalaya.

Recommendations of Adult Education and Literacy:

  • Basic literacy and opportunity for continuing education and lifelong learning for all illiterate persons above the age of 15 years.

  • Provide for seamless transition from basic literacy to continuing education.

  • Take up area projects

  • Mobilize youth and women

  • Establish equivalency with formal education programmes and skill development.

  • Reinstate State Resource Centres (SRCs) and Jana Shikshan Sansthans (JSSs).

  • In view of large number of illiterates in the country, programmes for adult literacy at education should be given high priority.

Higher Education

Issues Affecting Quality of Higher Education:

  • Variations in Quality

  • Teacher Availability

  • Appointment of Vice – Chancellors

  • Ensuring Quality in Higher Education

Recommendation:

  • Proliferation of privately run ‘teaching shops’ and so-called non - profit institutions, ill -equipped and operating with unqualified staff, is a disturbing development.

  • Needs to be urgently addressed through appropriate measures.

  • Mandatory for such teachers to attend appropriate training programmes in teaching and communication skills, and the use of ICT.

  • Accreditation should be made mandatory for all institutions of higher education.

  • Recruitment action has to start well in time.

  • Absence of regular faculty should become a negative indicator at the time of accreditation.

Recommendations of Role of State in Management of Higher Educational Institution

  • Universities which have more than 100 affiliated colleges should be split for achieving better academic oversight and management efficiency.

  • Revamp of the higher education promotion policies, procedures, structures and institutions.

Recommendation of Need to Revamp the Regulatory Regime:

  • New management paradigm should encourage quality by offering autonomy.

  • It should discourage poor managements with appropriate checks and controls, leading to closure where required.

  • ‘Capitation’ fees and extraction of rent from student is rampant for some specialized courses in certain fields, the amounts mentioned as capitation fee is very large.

  • New regulatory regime needs to be flexible and nuanced.

Recommendations of research and Innovation in Indian Universities:

  • Over the next decade at least 100 new centres for excellence in the field of higher education need to be established.

  • Based on commitment from private philanthropist/entrepreneur full freedom should be given to establish such units.

  • Committee proposes establishment of a Council for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE) by MHRD.

  • Existence of vacant posts leads to deterioration in institutional climate and must not be permitted under any conditions.

  • This is a pre-requisite for quality improvement in higher education.

Recommendation of Recognition, Accreditation and Quality Assurance:

  • An overarching management board, the National Accreditation Board, will oversee entire process, set standards and define guidelines.

  • Designated as the regulatory body for accreditation/evaluation of institutions of higher learning.

  • Initiative recently taken to rank top Universities in the country is commendable.

Recommendation of International Linkages in Indian Higher Education:

  • Top 200 universities should be facilitated to have collaboration arrangements with Indian universities.

  • Opportunity should be used to ‘globalize’ Indian higher education without compromising basic needs of access, equity and quality for the Indian student.

Recommendations of Need for a National Higher Education Promotion and Management Act:

  • Council will also lay down a framework of financial assistance to universities and monitor release of funds by State Governments in accordance with that framework.

  • Committee proposes the enactment of a new Higher Education Management Act.

  • Existing major national institutions in the Education sector were set up at different times, with individual mandates as envisioned at the time of their formation.

Recommendations of Creation of a National Higher Education Fund:

  • National Higher Education Fellowship Fund may be created.

  • This step will improve equity and accessibility in the higher education sector.

  • Separate national talent scholarship scheme to be administered after class 12 may be set up.

  • Corpus of funds is to be generated, partly funded by government, and partly through contribution from private and corporate sectors.

Recommendations of Entrance Examinations to Professional Courses:

  • Need to rationalize the system of entrance examinations to professional courses.

  • Needs to be taken of the recent decision of the Supreme Court to have national common admission tests for medical institutions in India.

  • Need to rationalize the entrance examination scenario, in the overall interest of the development of professional courses in the country.

Open and Distance Learning - Dual Mode Universities and the Promotion of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs):

  • Open Direct Learning through dual mode universities and through MOOCs should be accorded appropriate priority.

  • Ministry of HRD and UGC have already moved forward to sponsor ‘SWAYAM’, an indigenous MOOC platform.

  • Demand for ODL/MOOCs is bound to rise in future years, it is recommended that the developments in this field to be watched carefully.

  • Probably sooner than later under the aegis of the proposed Higher Education Act (proposed elsewhere in the report), a suitable ‘Regulator’ with adequate powers needs to be established.

Recommendations of Reforms in Medical Education:

  • Number of seats in the existing medical college’s falls well short of the present demand for medical professionals.

  • Existing framework of medical education needs significant restructuring.

  • More public investment is needed for starting medical colleges.

Recommendations of Reforms in Agriculture Education:

  • Need to bring agriculture and rural India in mainstream of our educational system.

  • Independent review or critical assessment of the ICAR/National Research Institutions may be conducted to highlight the specific reforms.

  • State Agricultural Universities need to update their curriculum and pedagogy to enable them to address the needs of their students.

Reforming and Strengthening National Level Institutions:

Recommendations of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE):

  • In the process of rapid expansion of technical education sector in the past 2 decades, AICTE has largely failed to act as a regulator to fulfil its mandated regulatory responsibilities.

  • Kaw Committee may be given effect to, to the extent feasible and desirable, pending regular arrangements in the wake of the proposed higher education law.

Recommendations of National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT):

  • NCERT needs to focus sharply on increasing the quality of school education.

  • NCERT has to be given greater stress, relevance, applicability and intensity of application.

  • Regional Institutes of Education (RIEs) also need to be strengthened to provide support in training, research, innovations and teaching learning material development to SCERTs and other institutions in the state.

  • NCERT has a major role to play in the transformation in the Indian school education scene.

  • It needs to be strengthened in terms of faculty and resources; reorient itself by restoring emphasis on research and innovation.

Recommendations of the University Grants Commission:

When the new National Higher Education Act is enacted, the UGC Act should be allowed to lapse.

Recommendations of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU):

  • No independent evaluation of the work of IGNOU since its establishment, recommends that such an exercise be undertaken at an early date.

  • Collateral responsibility devolving on IGNOU to maintain highest possible standards.

  • IGNOU should now be given position of the designated National University in the field of distance education.

  • IGNOU should have its own strong internal quality cell, to ensure conformity to high standards.

National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS):

  • Need to take note of the current experiments in distance education, undertaken by public and private institutions and restructure the institutional mechanisms.

  • NIOS needs to be appropriately strengthened and upgraded.

  • NIOS is now departmentally managed, which is not the ideal management structure.

  • Field of distance school education will undergo rapid expansion in the coming years.

  • An upgraded NIOS or any other designated agency should create two new national level examinations systems to certify Class X and Class XII equivalent achievement.

  • Class XII examination system may be created as soon as possible, with the Class X examination to follow.

Recommendations of National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA):

  • Clear re - orientation of its research agenda to reflect actual issues on the ground need to be undertaken without delay.

  • Central data compilation consolidation system needs to be significantly upgraded.

  • Establishment of a Central Bureau of Educational Intelligence with high quality statistical expertise and management information system.

  • It should be considered as an alternative to provide the requisite focus to this area.

Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016

Vision: Ensuring inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all and producing students/graduates equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.

Key Challenges in Education Sector:

  • Access and Participation:

  • Quality Issues:

  • Skills and Employability:

  • Curriculum and Assessment:

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT):

  • Teacher Development and Management:

  • Equity Issues:

  • System Efficiency:

  • Governance and Management:

  • Research and Development: Research and development initiatives in universities in India remain weak.

  • Budgetary constraints:

  • Global Commitment: The global Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) within the Agenda 2030 seeks to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

Policy Framework

School Education:

  • Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) will be expanded.

  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) will be expanded and upgraded.

Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms

From Class V onwards, digital literacy will be introduced in curriculum.

Inclusive Education and Student Support

  • Zero tolerance approach on gender discrimination and violence will be adopted.

  • Dedicated funds for R & D to strengthen disability studies in higher education.

Regulation in Higher Education:

A Central Educational Statistics Agency (CESA) will be established.

Research, Innovation and New Knowledge:

In order to promote innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, 100 more incubation centres will be established.