THE CONTEXT: Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal announced the release of the report of All India Survey on Higher Education 2019-20 on 10 June.
- This Report provides key performance indicators on the current status of Higher education in the country.
- In the last five years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, there has been a growth of 11.4% in the student enrolment.
- The rise in female enrolment in higher education during the period is 18.2%.
- This report is the 10th in the series of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) annually released by D/o Higher Education.
Key features of All India Survey on Higher Education Report 2019-20
- Total Enrolment in Higher Education stands at 3.85 crore in 2019-20 as compared to 3.74 crore in 2018-19, registering a growth of 36 lakh (3.04 %). Total enrolment was 3.42 crore in 2014-15.
- Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER), the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education, in 2019-20 is 27.1% against 26.3% in 2018-19 and 24.3% in 2014-2015.
- Gender Parity Index (GPI)in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 1.01 against 1.00 in 2018-19 indicating an improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.
- Pupil Teacher Ratio in Higher Education in 2019-20 is 26.
- As on 2019, the total number of universities in India stands at 1043 which was 993 in 2018-19.
MAJOR ISSUES WITH HIGHER EDUCATION IN INDIA AS PER UGC
- A severely fragmented higher educational ecosystem;
- Less emphasis on the development of cognitive skills and learning outcomes;
- A rigid separation of disciplines, with early specialisation and streaming of students into narrow areas of study;
- Limited access particularly in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, with few HEIS that teach in local languages
- Limited teacher and institutional autonomy;
- Inadequate mechanisms for merit-based career management and progression of faculty and institutional leaders;
- Lesser emphasis on research at most universities and colleges, and lack of competitive peer-reviewed research funding across disciplines;
- Suboptimal governance and leadership of HEIS;
- An ineffective regulatory system; and
- Large affiliating universities resulting in low standards of undergraduate education.
NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICY 2020 AND HIGHER EDUCATION
- Increase GER in higher education to reach at least 50%by 2035
- The policy envisages a broad-based multi-disciplinary holistic education at the undergraduate level for integrated exposure to science, arts, humanities, mathematics and professional fields having flexible curricular structures, integration of vocational education and multiple entry/exit points.
- The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications-
- An Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established which would digitally 8 8 store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities(MERUs) will be set up and will aim to attain the highest standards for multidisciplinary education across India
- The system of affiliation will be phased out over 15 years and a state-wise mechanism for granting graded autonomy to colleges, through a transparent system of graded accreditation, will be established.
- National Research Foundation (NRF) will be set up to catalyze and expand research and innovation across the country.
- Internationalization of education will be facilitated through both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top world ranked Universities to open campuses in our country.
- Faculty will be given the freedom to design their own curricular and pedagogical approaches within the approved framework.
- Excellence will be 10 10 further incentivized through appropriate rewards, promotions, recognitions, and movement into institutional leadership.
- Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable.
- There will be a single overarching umbrella body for promotion of higher education- the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)
- With independent bodies for standard setting- the General Education Council; funding-Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC); accreditation- National Accreditation Council (NAC); and regulation- National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC).
- Regulation will be ‘light but tight’ to ensure financial probity and public-spiritedness to eliminate conflicts of interest with transparent self-disclosure as the norm not an inspectorial regime.
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration
- The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest
- The Central Advisory Board of Education will be strengthened to ensure coordination to bring overall focus on quality education