(Member, AICTE NEP 2020 Implementation Plan Strategy Committee)
On 29th July, 2020, the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was approved by the Indian Cabinet with a major overhaul since the 1986 Policy. The highly aspirational NEP 2020 was developed under the able leadership of Dr. K. Kasturirangan. As we all know, Planning without Execution is Futile, however, Execution without Planning could be Fatal. With the NEP 2020 at hand, the real challenge begins to implement it successfully in the education domain in India.
After extensive deliberations on NEP 2020, a special Committee was chartered in October 2020 by Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) tofacilitate NEP 2020 Implementation in Higher Education. The Committee was charged with developing NEP 2020 Implementation Plan Strategy for Higher Education. The Committee members included – Prof. Sanjay Dhande, Padma Shri, Chairperson, Prof. Prem Vrat, Prof. Ashok Shettar, Prof. Rajneesh Arora, Prof. Subhasis Maji, Prof. Archana Mantri, Prof. Sathans Suhag, Prof. Rajul Asthana, Prof. Mamta Rani Agarwal, and Dr. Manu K. Vora. It was an honor to join the August Group of Eminent Educationists in India. The Committee Members held extensive deliberations in a virtual mode and compiled the booklet towards NEP 2020 implementation. The AICTE Team comprising of Chairman Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Vice Chairman Prof. M. P. Poonia, Member Secretary Prof. Rajive Kumar, and Director Col. B. Venkat did very commendable work towards finalising the points for implementation on NEP 2020 chapter wise.
In the NEP 2020 Implementation Plan, nine focus areas were addressed including 1) Multi-Disciplinary and Holistic Education, 2) Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education, 3) Research, Innovation, and Rankings, 4) Global Outreach of Higher Education, 5) Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty, 6) Integrated Higher Education System, 7) Governance and Regulation, 8) Promotion of Languages, Arts, and Culture, and 9) Technology Use and Integration. The NEP 2020 Implementation Plan focused on Short-Term (2021), Medium-Term (2022-2025), and Long-Term (2026-2035) Goals with an aim to have the Best Education System in India by 2035.
The Committee recommended for all Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to create effective Vision, Mission, Values, Goals, and Objectives at the start of NEP 2020 rollout with an aim of inculcation of values based on ancient wisdom and setting up of vibrant knowledge society in India. Key Short-Term Goals included Immediate revision of curriculum with assessment tools, UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit and re-entry options, Establish Academic Bank of Credits to facilitate transfer of credits, Access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability to all, Promoting the use of mother tongue in all levels of education, and Integration of School and Higher Education.
Key Medium-Term Goals focused on Greater mobility of students in India, Integration of vocational education programmes into main stream education in all education institutes, Creating policies and roadmap for implementation in all facets of education including professional, technical, liberal, medical, law, agriculture, etc., and Strong and innovative government initiatives for adult education.
The Long-Term Goals included Vision statement of NEP 2020 to be successfully achieved, Transforming HEIs into multi-disciplinary universities, Granting graded autonomy to colleges through a transparent system of graded accreditation, Establishing/ transforming at least one HEI into large multi-disciplinary HEI in or near every District, 4 year B. Ed. degree as minimum qualification for school teachers, Sanskrit universities will move towards becoming large multi-disciplinary institutions of higher learning, andDepartment of Sanskrit to be established/strengthened.
Some key inputs focused on engaging Alumni and Industry Experts for their input on curricula upgrade, placements, governance, and resources for special projects. Engaging all HEI students in Community Service during their studies to Give Back to the Society and help in Nation Building as well as developing Social Entrepreneurs.
With 35 years of author’s experience leading/coaching 15 change management journeys in Education, Government, Corporate, Professional, and Non-Profit Sectors, he has observed transformation success by first providing relevant training to all stakeholders. Toward this end, the author suggested specific Faculty Development Programs (FDPs) for Administration/Leadership (one per institute), on 1) Change Management, 2) U. S. Baldrige Education Performance Excellence Framework for Self-Assessment, and 3) Community Service Importance. For Project Leads (one per institute), FDP on 1) Project Management, and 2) Risk Management. And finally, a Soft Skills FDP for All Faculties.
In conclusion, the NEP 2020 Implementation is a Transformation Journey which will Require a Laser-Sharp Focus on a War-Time Footing. We need to Empower all Stakeholders by harnessing Expertise, Experience, Knowledge, and Wisdom of Experts for a Successful Journey. We must Provide Relevant Training to All Stakeholders. There is a need to Adopt Global Best Practices in Education for India. Insist on creating a Culture of Execution Discipline for NEP 2020 Rollout. There needs to be Accountability for Sustainable Results. Encourage Sharing Good Practices/Results through Collaborations at all HEIs. And finally, there should be Zero Political Interference from the Government in implementing the NEP 2020. This policy being not merely transformational for building empowered new India, but if implemented successfully, it would become a role model and beacon for education sector not only for developing nations but also for developed nations.
Dr. Manu K. Vora is the Chairman and President of Business Excellence, Inc. , USA and can be reached at [email protected]