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'New Education Policy will bring rise in demand for tailored courses'

<p id="content">The New Education Policy (NEP) has infused a new wave of optimism with the vision of strengthening the education system, branching out into varied dimensions of skill-based learning to empower the Indian youth with the new age dynamism. The policy has arrived at the most appropriate time, when India is all geared up to redefine itself as "Atmanirbhar Bharat".</p>
The newly envisaged framework aims to provide a holistic development for the learners that are largely aligned towards concept-based study to enhance critical thinking and a focused approach on experiential learning. It is oriented towards an outcome-based approach and would help to bridge the gap between Academics and industry employability.

<strong>Key components of NEP:</strong>

Creative combination of subjects without stiff demarcations between vocational and academic streams, seamless integration of vocational studies, the 4-year multidisciplinary degrees with entry and exit options, capitalizing on modern technology, creating capabilities for online learning, allowing foreign universities to set up in India and all these setting the right synergies envisioned towards India emerging as the "vishwa guru", the knowledge superpower.

<strong>Emergence of a vibrant institutional architecture:</strong>

The upcoming education ecosystem would witness the disruptive innovation with promising inclusions to deliver a variety of customized skill-based courses to match up to the dynamic industry requirements. This transformation would be fueled by the following policy ingredients:

– Elevate the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher studies from 26.3 percent (2018) to 50 percent by 2035. It is projected to add 3.5 crore new seats to HEIs.

– 4-year multidisciplinary degrees with entry and exit options with an academic bank for credits for the final degree.

The aforesaid inclusions paired with flexibility in subject combinations would work at building the desired skills set. We had silo formats, where each course was confined to a specific discipline and was missing the understanding of the real scenarios. A civil engineer, aspiring to bloom into an entrepreneur, needs to understand the complexities of accounts for a successful establishment. The multi-disciplinary approach would surely take us in the desired growth trajectory in the coming years.

<strong>Education framework is driven by digitization:</strong>

The policy aims to create a framework embedded with digital infrastructure and technology advancements to provide today's youth access to quality learning. The online education is proving its mettle and is consistently driving knowledge management initiative and leveraging learning platforms for blended learning.

The comprehensive set of initiatives such as creating a digital infrastructure, e-learning modules, online courses in academics and vocational education, are aiming to create a future-ready youth. An important introduction of "coding" as an essential skill from Class VI onwards is a very progressive and welcoming inclusion. This would surely result into skilled manpower eligible for job opportunities worldwide.

<strong>Global platform of educational equivalence:</strong>

The NEP has announced radical modifications in UG and PG Programs wherein students at the UG level can pursue the degrees of both 3 or 4 years with multiple exits and entry options and at the Master's Level, can choose from 1 year and 2 Year PG Degrees.

The earlier rigidity of 2 years PG formula denied recognition to the 1-year Master's that the Indians and students from abroad came with, aspiring for jobs or other educational avenues in India. With current choice, the Indian degrees would now be at par with foreign universities. It is indeed a welcome move for professionals, who desire to attain a degree in Master's. The new flexibilities would open two-way possibilities on both the educational front and jobs opportunities worldwide.

<strong>Internationalization of higher education- promoting global competitiveness:</strong>

The policy has introduced a progressive inclusion that allows Top 100 Universities in the world to set operations in India. We might start reaping the benefits from initiatives that are likely to launch in short term with this facilitation such as co-development of newer courses, a variety of virtual classrooms, global Immersion programs, Research collaboration and an enhancement in the quality of Indian education and research with global competitiveness.

<strong>A defined move to create the "Atmanirbhar Bharat":</strong>

The NEP is focused on providing today's youth access to high quality learning and development through a consolidated framework of academics and experiential applications, to prepare them thoroughly for progressive opportunities. It promises to create new-age skills for students with higher eligibility for availing the desired roles in a vast arena of job opportunities. The entire process of implementing the framework is bound to create linked employment into the system as it would positively expose the Indian population to the newer avenues in the education industry.

(The author Anupam Sinha is Vice President, Operations, ITM Group of Institutions).