ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Sudhanshu BhushanSubscribe to Sudhanshu Bhushan

The Political Economy of Curricula in Higher Education Institutions

Three years of the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020 have witnessed several regulations and guidelines by the University Grants Commission regarding changes in the curriculum. It is important to examine the implications of these curricular changes. It is noted that the curriculum, instead of evolving through scientific inquiry, is influenced by the ideology of the state and the market.

FHEIs Draft Regulations, 2023

For the last two decades, there have been attempts to allow the branch campuses of foreign universities through legislative measures. However, in the recent Draft UGC Regulations, 2023, effort is made to allow such universities to operate and confer degree, bypassing even the legislative route. The article contends the point that the draft regulation is anti-constitutional and stands on weak legal grounds. It will distort the public higher education institutions and by creating further exclusion, it fails to serve the national interests. The policymakers need to deliberate further on the implications of such a policy on the already unequal landscape of education.

Four-year Undergraduate Programme

The plan to transition from a three-year to a four-year undergraduate programme has implications on the standard of higher education. Many universities have adopted the FYUP by an executive order of the government without any regulation of the University Grants Commission or proper deliberation. The article notes that FYUP is not a boon and rather may adversely affect the quality with a greater move towards the vocationalisation of undergraduate education. It may also lead to a chaotic situation with the multiple entry and exit options, and create a hierarchy of degree structures causing confusion in the labour market.

Challenges before Institutions of Eminence in India

This article evaluates the challenges of the Institutions of Eminence scheme from the feedbacks received from the faculty, heads, deans, and directors/vice chancellors of the institutes/universities covered under the scheme. It is concluded that investing in teachers is highly crucial to attain “world-class” status for universities in India.

Degree Devaluation

The University Grants Commission guidelines for pursuing two degrees simultaneously in April 2022 are said to provide multiple pathways of multidisciplinary learning. Pursuing two degrees simultaneously is said to meet the demand–supply deficit by promoting online and distance learning modes. This article examines these claims and argues that it may lead to the deterioration of standards in higher education. Dual degrees may promote degree mills and lead to the phenomenon of degree devaluation.


A Dithering Higher Education Policy

The practices of the government in the past few years and the intent of the draft National Education Policy, 2019, seem to be in contradiction. The policy offers high ideals, but may fall short in practice, as the conflict of interest is between promoting privatisation and ensuring the public nature of education, and between market friendliness and ascertaining the interests of the people.

HECI Act 2018 Fails to Address Structural Problems of Higher Education in India

The government’s intention to repeal the University Grants Commission Act and replace it with the Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 is alarming because it does not consider the structural problems of higher education in India and instead emphasises outcome-based parameters that are likely to adversely affect quality of teaching and learning.

Public University in a Democracy

The modern public university in a democracy faces the challenging task of producing and disseminating knowledge. Though the public character and universality of knowledge seem to be threatened today by both the state as well as the market forces, the university cannot afford to remain an apolitical institution in a democracy. There are lessons to be learnt in the debates surrounding the development of German universities and the idea of a university as the idealist philosophers have conceptualised.

Higher Education in 12th Plan

The Twelfth Plan has chosen an approach that will promote private capital in higher education with an eye on profit generation - a stance contradicting present policy. It has not considered the alternate path of garnering resources for the public and private sectors through the creation of a National Education Finance Corporation.

Trade in Education Services under GATS

While universal elementary education is the state's constitutional obligation, development needs require that the skills of a nation's human resources are constantly updated and renewed, with increasing access to the wider knowledge society. Skills, knowledge and information are exchanged between countries which are thus partners in a process to optimise gains. Understanding these and several other implications for India in the context of GATS poses not only a challenge, but also an opportunity to formulate new strategies with regard to domestic regulations.

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