nThe Centre and the States on Saturday held detailed discussions and debated various reforms proposed in the new National Education Policy(NEP) draft that has been much delayed and much awaited.
The meeting of the HRD Ministry's Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and Education ministers from states was chaired by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'. The heads of autonomous organisations, vice chancellors of universities, HRD secretaries for higher education and school education R Subrahmanyam and Rina Ray, along with senior officials of the central and state governments also attended
Further, Nishank's deputy Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju also attended the meeting.
"The house had detailed deliberations on several recommendations and reforms proposed in the NEP draft. There were valuable suggestions given by the education ministers of states, who are equal partners in policy formulation and felt that their inputs are critical so that the proposed NEP can be a catalyst to achieve the goals of equitable access to quality education while ensuring affordability of education and instilling greater accountability," a senior HRD official said.
Nishank said in the spirit of "cooperative federalism" both the central and state governments interacted and engaged in a healthy and enriching dialogue to bring out a robust policy that will empower our youth to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
"The government has initiated a major exercise to formulate a National Education Policy that will aim to fulfil the aspiration of the youth for quality education and make our country a knowledge superpower.
The extant National Policy on Education, 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population," he said.
"Thus, this policy is being brought out after more than three decades. Massive consultative process over four years has been undertaken and the draft NEP has been submitted by the committee.
"The meeting today was convened to discuss the draft so that in the spirit of cooperative federalism both the central and state governments interact and engage in a healthy and enriching dialogue to bring
out a robust policy that will empower our youth to meet the challenges of the 21st century," the minister added.
Nishank also released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19 according to which the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education has increased from 25.8 in 2017-18 to 26.3 in 2018-19 while in absolute terms the enrolment increased from 3.66 crore to 3.74 crore students.
"GER for SCs has also shown a growth from 21.8 to 23.0 and STs from 15.9 to 17.2. In terms of increase in the number of universities, they have grown from 903 (2017-18) to 993 (2018-19) and total higher
Education institutions from 49,964 to 51,649 in the same corresponding period. The number of faculty increased from 13.88 lakhs to 14.16 lakhs," the survey report said.