EPSI Roundtable on NEP 2019

Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI), organized a roundtable discussion on Draft National Education Policy 2019 on 18th June 2019 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi Specially in the context of the report submitted by The Committee for Draft National Education Policy which proposes an education policy, which seeks to address the challenges of access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability faced by the current education system.

The roundtable was inaugurated and presided over by Dr G Viswanathan, President, EPSI and the founder & chancellor of Vellore Institute of Technology. While sharing his views about the National Education Policy, he said, “According to this recommendation there will be three kinds of Universities, First will be Research Universities, Second Teaching Universities and Third will be Degree Awarding to colleges (Autonomous Colleges). There is no mention of Deemed universities, because if the central government could bring the bill so it could become central private universities. He further said, “Regarding accreditation at present we have graded accreditation, the committee, the maximum this will go on for ten years, so after 2030 there will be no graded accreditation and it will be just a yes or no for no accreditation. He pointed out that the states should be consulted by the committee and probably the central government should convene a meeting and enough time should be given to the states to discuss this in their assembly(s) and committee(s) and come with a solution. “Overall it’s a good report but at some place, it requires detail studies and regulation which can be done by us or implementing bodies and government can do it themselves,” added EPSI President.

Dr H. Chaturvedi, Alternate President EPSI, moderated the same and highlighted already 50,000 suggestions have been submitted. Once all the suggestions are received and reviewed the New National Education Policy will be presented to the cabinet and then to the parliament and then some consultation with the state governments since education is in the concurrent list and the central government cannot decide the new education policy. This is the 3rd National Education Policy that is being formulated after the gap of 26 years. The world has changed so drastically, radically and over the 26 years. We have liberalised our economy and there have been phenomenal changes. Before 1994 we were a different India and now that we are in the year 2019, different India is there and we are in dire need for a New Education Policy. he also added that this report is touching upon the long term perspective of education both at school level and higher education level. 

Dr G D Sharma, President, SEED, New Delhi and Padmashri Dr Pritam Singh, Former Director, IIM, Lucknow were also the main speakers and shared their views about the Draft New Education Policy.

Chief Guest for the round table discussion was Dr Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) who shared with the august gathering his views about the same in general and said that, any education policy wants the nation to be having a high gross enrolment ratio that we have started with 0.7% and we reached to 28% and our goal to reach 30 per cent by 2020 and then 40% to 50% and why not all 100% so that is the goal and aim and that we should move ahead, it make take 10 years, 20 years or 30 years but that is what we all aim at. But what is more critical than that is the implementation of policy in its true spirit as it is written in the policy. This is where we are always lacking and so, since 70 years of independence we don’t have even 1 institution in top 100 institutions of the world. Stressing on the need for innovation in education he said, “we all talk about innovation, so first we should be clear that we have to think education in innovation or innovation in education because both are equally important. He also talked about experiential learning and enjoying while learning but when we look at the primary education we don’t need to discriminate between government and private when it comes to education. The basic thing is that we all are here for nation building and to build an excellent education system. One more thing he added that when we talk of cross-disciplinary but when it comes a selection of such faculty in their college they declare such candidates unfit. I think a candidate who has an intradisciplinary degree is more fit then who has only one educational background.”

Mr P K Gupta, Founder, Sharda University was also present on the dais and shared his views. New education policy is very good and projects as the policy is giving us autonomy but silently they spank and curtail the autonomy.” He mentioned a bill that was passed in Uttar Pradesh after which 27 universities came out and everything was doing very well, but from last year government came up with certain regulations like fee regulation committee, annual inspection of the universities, the governing council needs three members from the government and this has taken away most of our autonomy.

Mr Chetan Singai, Deputy Director, Ramaiah Public Policy Center, Bangalore presented a detailed view of the draft National Education Policy and Mr P Palanivel, Executive Secretary, EPSI also shared his views. After the inputs were given by the eminent educationists on the dais, the floor was opened for the august audience to share their views and highlight the critical elements of the Draft National Education Policy that would need the attention and should be revalidated before being included in the NEP.