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

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In the Middle of Hope and Crisis

The fund allocations of the Union Budget 2022–23 to education are analysed in the context of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector and the implementation of the National Education Policy, 2020.

Resource Constraints in Implementing the NEP 2020

The fiscal year 2020-21 was unprecedented for the education sector in India. First, a new National Education Policy with an ambitious rollout timeline was announced. Second, it witnessed a near lockdown of all educational activity because of the pandemic. This has led to significant learning loss, particularly of foundational literacy and numeracy that will have to be recovered in the coming years. Both of these call for a significant investment of resources in the education sector. An analysis of central and Karnataka (as a representative state) education budgets for FY 2021-22 reveals that there is minimal funding to address either of these in the current fiscal year.

Degrading the Delight of Degree Education

The merit-based undergraduate admissions in the University of Delhi got mired in controversies in the name of region and ideology to the extent of terming it as “marks jihad.” After the first cut-off list of DU undergraduate admission 2021, many students with a perfect score of 100% got admitted, predominantly belonging to the Kerala board, thus provoking nepharious remarks of “marks jihad.” The bottom-line argument was that admission in DU, a central university, should be merit-based and accesible to all. The National Education Policy has to suggest ways to accommodate a larger number of students to ensure quality undergraduate education. As a national university, DU needs to facilitate distinctive plurality by adopting more inclusive admission policies and making its teaching–learning more global.

Professional Development of Higher Education Faculty in India

Professional development of faculty of higher education in India started formally with the establishment of academic staff colleges in 1986. Since the last three decades, this domain has undergone several changes in its format, objectives and content, but has not developed into a robust and professional area with deep research foundations. A critical look at the decisions taken by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the University Grants Commission reveals the reasons behind the current chaotic scenario. Policy changes, and the establishment and enrichment of dedicated nodal centres of faculty development, are essential to address the pressing concerns.

Research Radio Ep 11: The Impossibility of ‘Dalit Studies’

In this episode, we speak to Ankit Kawade about the exclusionary character of higher education curriculums, and the implications of institutionalising Dalit Studies.

Leveraging International Influence through Higher Education

An analysis of state and institutional responses to COVID-19 demonstrates the importance of global interconnectedness of the goals and targets to prevent the pandemic’s spread. These rationales also underline how select Indian higher education and research institutions, with the support of the government, could play an important role to leverage their international influence in the emerging situation by tapping into new academic partnership opportunities in the global South.

National Education Policy, 2020

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures, revamping of the entire regulatory structure to construct a system based on enhancing students’ choice in opting for courses assumes critical significance. This has the potential to obliterate the concepts of time and space associated with a university. This innocuous measure will serve the purpose of fostering competition among the higher education institutions to improve their performance primarily under the surveillance of the National Accreditation Council and other institutions, with a renewed thrust on going online amid the pandemic.

Of Access and Inclusivity

Can online education enable all students to participate in and benefit from it equally? Massive online education without addressing the huge access gap and disparities in digital infrastructure would not only exclude a vast majority of students from learning opportunities but also exacerbate the existing socio-economic disparities in educational opportunities.

How Does the National Education Policy Accelerate the Privatisation of Higher Education?

In the garb of promoting new-age and liberal education, the latest education policy advances privatisation and centralisation in the system. A scant attention is paid to improve the state of public education in the country. At the time of writing this article, the new education policy had not been approved by the union cabinet. This article is based on the Draft National Education Policy 2019, which has been eventually ratified by the government.

Measuring Access, Quality and Relevance in Higher Education

Gross enrolment ratio is a widely accepted indicator to measure the level of participation in education. It is proposed that the eligible enrolment ratio could be a better indicator instead. A study of five-year data of 10 different countries highlights its significance. In addition, it is also critical to reimagine higher education as beyond general university degrees, and develop a complementary vertical of equal status of skill and vocational education and enhance employment opportunities.

Rapid Growth of Private Universities

Over the last two decades India has witnessed a rapid rise in the number of private universities. Various state governments have encouraged and justified this growth in order to increase enrolment in higher education, and private capital has welcomed this state encouragement. However, the implications of this move on access to higher education and the variety of other challenges that it presents are debated. Based on higher education enrolment data from the All India Survey on Higher Education, this paper attempts to study the social and academic character of universities to understand the consequences of the rapid growth of private universities for the university space as a whole.

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