The aim is to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to higher education
The UGC inviting feedback from academicians on making the institutions of higher learning multidisciplinary is welcome.In the last few years, there has been a period of substantial change in the content and nature of various disciplines and a focused approach of adding real-life experiments of society, dealing with the challenges posed by social cleavages to the existence of liberal democratic practices, the environment, globalisation and governance into the framework of new education system. There’s a need to show how new ways of higher education will drive change and explain how latest research and happenings in the field of education across the globe can be disseminated so as to upgrade research and teaching accordingly.The popularity and importance of Indian higher education system can be realised from the fact that students from over 160 countries are enrolled in Indian universities. There is a massive increase in attendance from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. On the domestic front, the span of a year in 2019-20 saw a jump of over four million students in school enrolments. Total enrolment crossed 26 million. There are over 42,000 colleges, over 1040 universities with a gross enrolment of around 20 million. The strength of the higher education system lies in creating its internal dynamism by ensuring inclusive growth. Human and financial relations and dealings are not as simple as they appear to be and require constant monitoring by competent authorities. The new efforts by UGC will not only bring fair practices but ensure policy brings good change and frame ways to reform the examination system to ensure that only the talented get selected. The provisions of Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs) on par with IITs and IIMs, the National Research Foundation, the National Educational Technology Forum and Indian Institutes of Translation and Interpretation would create an environment for students to reach their potential best by encouraging academic excellence of global level, embracing new information on the one hand and opening new areas of job-oriented courses on the other. The much talked about new provisions of new education formal orientation of “5+3+3+4” and learning in mother tongue or regional language till Class V would open up fresh outlooks.
As far as education at the tertiary level is concerned, NEP’s approach appears to set out a very clear way forward by getting the mentors fully involved in new techniques and developing challenging strategies to meet the need of all categories of students. An introduction of new syllabus would provide a vivid and deeper insight into the problem of terrorism and its causes.It can look into the basis of funding for terrorism, the nexus among arms dealers, drug traffickers, smugglers and terrorists. A proper knowledge about the nexus between organised crime and terrorism can be of immense use. The vision of the NEP is bound to make India the most competitive in the field of defence education and would have many takers. Our education system is known for embracing values and approaches that can shape creative urge of students and academicians. However, there are increasing challenges posed by the transitional phase. The new input of the NEP will certainly make each discipline richer in content and varied in ideas. Even science students will be exposed to the nuances of international, national, socio-political and economic issues through multidisciplinary practices. One cannot but admire ingenious display of pure genius of this approach of Government which will provide a holistic, cross disciplinary solution to major challenges encountered by all of us.
(The writer, A RECEPIENT OF BHARAT GAURAV AWARD, IS A PROFESSOR AND EXPERT ON STRATEGIC AFFAIRS. The views expressed are personal.)