The National Education Policy (NEP) 2019, which aims to completely reform the education sector in India, will be finalised soon.
In an exclusive interaction with Moneycontrol on the sidelines of the 57th convocation at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', the Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), said that they have engaged in deliberations over the NEP.
"We have received more than 1,50,000 suggestions from the public on NEP. Overall, the responses have been very positive. I am pushing for NEP to be finalised soon," he added.
The National Education Plan 2019 (draft) proposes far-reaching changes in the system of education not only in India, but also in the Ministry for Human Resource Development .
One of the biggest changes will be the name change of the ministry. The NEP draft document proposes that the name of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will be changed to the Ministry of Education (MoE). This is proposed to be done in 2019 itself.
Among other areas, Pokhriyal said that the MHRD wants to make India self-sufficient by relying more on domestic rankings of educational institutes.
NEP 2019 proposals
Pokhriyal said that all stakeholders have appreciated the draft.
"We have received constructive feedback. NEP has the power to significantly transform the education sector in India," he added.
Earlier, areas like skilling were part of the MHRD. Now that a separate ministry has been carved out for skill development and entrepreneurship, the MHRD will now only look into aspects concerning the education system in the country.
The NEP has also proposed that the entire higher education regulatory system will be transformed into a single regulatory body, and that existing multiple regulatory bodies will evolve to play newer roles.
"All views will be taken into consideration. Our endeavour is to ensure that all stakeholders of the education system benefit from the policy," he added.
The HRD minister said that while institutes like IIT Bombay have now broken into the Top 200 global universities rankings where Indian educational institutes were absent for so long, he added that the focus is also to build domestic self-reliance.
"We have the Atal rankings (Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements) that lists out top educational institutions. We also have the National Institutional Ranking Framework. Why should we rely only on international rankings?," said Pokhriyal.
There is also a proposal by the MHRD to link funding of an institute to how it performs in the NIRF rankings.
Look India policy
Pokhriyal said that while there is a rush among a certain set of students to go abroad for higher education, the MHRD is working hard to create world class institutions in India.
"We have taken it up as a challenge. The students will recognise our efforts," he said.
Pokhriyal said that students should also take an effort to solve the burning issues in the country like water conservation, pollution, cleanliness, alternative energy sources as well as climate change which is now a global concern.
"Technology and research activities need to be directed towards these areas," he added.
Further, Pokhriyal said that the MHRD is also taking steps for revival and promotion of the Sanksrit language, which he called the 'world's only scientific language'.