The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) and renamed the HRD Ministry as Education Ministry. Making the announcement, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said there would be a single regulator for all higher education institutions and MPhil would be discontinued.
In a bid to ramp up digital learning, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed,” Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said.
Top 100 foreign colleges will be allowed to set up campuses in India. According to the HRD Ministry document, listing salient features of policy, “such foreign universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.”
Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi disciplinary education. “There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under Graded Autonomy, Academic, Administrative and Financial Autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation,” he further said.
The committee – which suggested changes in the education system under the NEP -was headed by former ISRO Chief K Kasturirangan. The NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992. The NEP was part of the election manifesto of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ahead of the 2014 elections.