Government of India launched the path breaking National Education Policy (NEP) - 2020 which will create an enabling environment for quality education, make education accessible, equitable and affordable, promote good governance and support digital empowerment. It also supports research & innovation and vocational education. In the words of the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, the National Education Policy is a means to fight against poverty and is one of the major factors in the 'mahayagna' (supreme service) ofNation-building.
Equitable and Inclusive Education is the single greatest tool for achieving social justice and equality. Equitable and Inclusive Education, while indeed an essential goal in its own right - is also crucial for achieving an inclusive and equitable society in which every citizen has the opportunity to dream, thrive, and contribute to the nation. NEP - 2020 reaffirms to bridge the categorical gaps in access, participation, and learning outcomes. ICAI – 2022 aims at deliberations on the upscaling of Equitable and Inclusive Education through NEP – 2020.
Education Multidisciplinary and Holistic Education would aim to develop all capacities of human beings - intellectual, aesthetic,social, physical, emotional, and moral in an integrated manner. Such an education will help develop well-rounded individuals that possess essential 21st century capacities in fields across the arts, humanities, languages, sciences, social sciences, and professional, technical, and vocational fields; an ethic of social engagement; soft skills, such as communication, discussion and debate; and rigorous specialization in a chosen field or fields. Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education, is indeed what is needed in the higher education in India to lead the country into the 21st century and the fourth industrial revolution.
Internationalization of Education promotes sharing of best academic and research practices through interactions between diverse education systems, and helps in developing global citizens through mobility of students and scholars. The international aspect of higher education is becoming increasingly important. Internationalization of Education represents important concepts of international; intercultural; and global dimensions. Internationalization of Education involves distinctive strategies such as provision of an internationally high standard of education; enhancement of research activities through strengthening international research networks ; promotion of cooperation with international society; improvement of infrastructure to promote internal internationalization; and for mulation of along - term internationalization plan.
NEP - 2020 foresees the development of an enlightened, knowledgeable and skilled nation. This will be done through changes in higher education, importantly, by focusing on integrating skill with education. Expanding access to skill-based Knowledge in higher education will enhance the global competitiveness of our country. Given the realities of rapidly changing economic landscape in the country, entrepreneurship opportunities have emerged as an important foundation for youth aspirations. An inclusive approach to strengthen entrepreneurship development in the country which is competent and innovative needs to be encouraged.
Digitalization of Education is a paradigm shift of 21st century. Digital technology has an essential role to play in education sector and use of digital technologies in all aspects of higher education has contributed immensely in teaching and learning. Digital technologies have also greatly impacted the management and governance of the institutions. Many new emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, etc will open up many new opportunities in the fields of quality and accessibility in higher education. The education through digital technology is accessible to everyone and is affordable. ICT enabled education can overcome the shortage of quality faculty and it can enhance the enrolment ratio in higher education system. The ICT platforms also provide opportunities for lifelong learning in education.
Higher Education Institutions define their global competitiveness as per their Global Ranking. Many agencies provide rankings of Higher Education Institutions using different criteria. The purpose of ranking is to promote global competition and determine best institutions for the learners to choose. Ranking agencies consider various criteria to determine best institution such as Academic performance, research, publication, industry-institution collaborations, international outlook, alumni, overall reputation, and financial stability.
Accreditation is a standardized evaluation of the quality of Higher Education Institutions and its programs. Accreditation for institutions of higher education is essential for two reasons; i) ensuring that the students are successful in their chosen career paths and ii) for promoting institutional and programmatic excellence. Accreditation is a type of quality assurance process which ensures that services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated and verified as per applicable and recognized standards. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency. In India, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA) are the esteemed accreditation organisations that assess and accredit Higher Education Institutions and its programmes.
Promotion of Research and Knowledge creation emerges from conducive academic development at all levels. Higher Education Institutions should focus on research and innovation by setting up Start-up incubation centres; technology development centres; centres in frontier areas of research; establishing greater industry-academic linkages; and performing interdisciplinary research including humanities and social sciences. In this context, there is a need to develop strategies and take necessary actions for enhancing research and promoting research and innovation at our Higher Education Institutions. A goal-oriented and focused plan needs to be developed by Higher Education Institutions to achieve highest possible standards in research and innovation.
Recently, Schools were temporarily closed to diminish the spreading of COVID 19. Owing to the COVID 19 scenario teaching was switched to the online platform. The closure of schools has had a detrimental effect on all concerned entities and the educational structures of the country. Students had to depend more on their own resources to learn remotely through the digital technology. Teachers adapted to new pedagogical methods and modes of delivery of teaching & learning. Learners from the marginalised groups, who have little access to digital resources or lack the resilience to learn on their own, are at risk of being discarded. The transition to a digital learning environment has now become an integral component of many schools.
Indian Knowledge System includes rich heritage and traditional knowledge in the fields of Arts and literature, Agriculture, Basic Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Architecture, Management, Economics, etc. The knowledge traditions of India are continuous and growing. They are textual and exegetical in different areas of philosophy, medicine, grammar, architecture, geography, literary theory, polity and political economy, logic, astronomy and mathematics, ship building, military science, metallurgy, agriculture, mining and gemmology among others. Concepts and technical vocabularies of these rich heritage and traditional knowledge are still a part of the psyche and languages of modern India.
Globally, there has been enormous industrial market demand for graduates possessing the employability skills. For Higher Education Institutions, employability spans the entire spectrum of education, from inculcating of values, to imparting knowledge and developing the skills and attributes that equip students for the world of work. There is increasing focus on developing the broader skills set that will allow graduates to adapt to a rapidly changing and diverse world of work. The importance of graduate employability is increasingly accepted in higher education.
The ability to read and write, and perform basic operations with numbers, is a necessary foundation and an essential prerequisite for schooling and lifelong learning. Over 5 crore students have not attained foundational literacy and numeracy, i.e., the ability to read and comprehend basic text and the ability to carry out basic addition and subtraction. NEP – 2020 states that education system will have the highest priority to achieve universal foundational literacy and numeracy in primary school by adopting various implementation strategies for teacher recruitment, curriculum development, developing high-quality resources and books, peer-tutoring, and nutrition and health.
Sanskrit is one of the oldest known languages over thousands of years. It is also called “Dev Vani” (the language of gods). It is believed that Brahma introduced this language to the Sages of celestial bodies. The Sanskrit Language came from Indo-European language family of Indian subcontinent. The term 'Sanskrit' is derived from the adjoining of the prefix 'Sam' meaning 'samyak' which means 'entirely', and 'krit' which means 'done'. Thus, the name indicates perfectly or entirely done in terms of communication, reading, hearing, and the use of vocabulary to express an emotion. An extremely complex language with a vast vocabulary, it is still extensively used today to read the sacred texts and hymns.
National Education Policy 2020 talks about the agenda of Teacher in building the future of our country. It stresses on empowerment of teachers as key to ensure the best possible future for the country as a whole. Teacher and Faculty Development is of utmost importance with a view to developing greater understanding of teaching methodologies. Teachers must be grounded in Indian values, languages, knowledge, ethos, and traditions. Teachers should also be well-versed with the latest advances in education and pedagogy. Trained teachers are better able to self-reflect on their own beliefs and methodologies. They develop better range of practical concepts, skills and strategies for teaching and assessment.
National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) was established by the UGC in September 1994 at Bangalore for performance evaluation of the Universities and Colleges in India. A detailed process on the basis of self-study and peer review with specified criteria is carried out for performance evaluation of a Higher Education Institution. NAAC Accreditation refers to the certification given by NAAC to a Higher Education Institution. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in India holds enormous importance by Higher Education Institutions. The NAAC grade helps the students to find out a University on basis of quality education, research, teaching-learning, governance and management, infrastructure, etc.