The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, 29 July, gave its approval to a new National Education Policy aimed to bring about several changes in the education system, which include reforms to allow foreign universities to set up campuses in the country.
The new education policy has set forth an increase in the offshore campuses of foreign universities, reversing the Centre’s earlier stance on the The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations) Bill, 2010, introduced by the UPA-2 government.
How Did the 2010 Bill Restrict Foreign Institutions?
Rules under the The Foreign Educational Institutions Bill, 2010 allowed foreign institutions to only collaborate with Indian universities through partnerships or projects.
The Centres stance on foreign universities establishing campuses in India’s was they would raise the cost of education through higher tuition fees and alienate the student population.
Under the 2010 bill, any foreign institutions that aspired to establish a campus in India be required to submit a Rs 50 crore deposit as a corpus fund. Rules likes these pushed away foreign universities in the past.
What’s Different Now?
Under the new national education policy, foreign universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance and content norms on par with other autonomous education institutions in India.
The key highlights of the new policy is use of technology in teaching, learning and assessment, a single regulator for higher education, graded autonomy for colleges, and phasing out of the affiliation system in 15 years.
Apart from opening doors to foreign players, to the Indian education system, the new policy has also introduced major reforms in school education, including universalisation of early childhood care education, setting up of a national mission on foundational literacy and numeracy, ‘5+3+3+4’ circular and pedological structure and no rigid separation between arts and sciences.
The policy also mandates the medium of instruction till at least class 5 and preferably till class 8 and beyond in home or regional language, and a 360-degree holistic report card – based on assessment by students, classmates and teachers.
Besides this, PARAKH – Performance, Assessment, Review and Analysis for Holistic Development – will form the standard, norm and guidelines for the schools so that it reaches the benchmark. Schools will have transparent online systems for self-disclosure for public oversight and accountability.
(With inputs from IANS)