Restructuring of Curriculum in Higher Education

By | March 10, 2016

Restructuring of Curriculum in Higher Education

India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of its population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of its total population below 25 years of age. A skill gap study conducted by National Skill Development Corporation over 2010-2014, indicates that there is an additional net incremental requirement of 109.73 million skilled manpower by 2022 in twenty-four key sectors.

As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2014-15(Provisional), the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Higher Education is 23.6% which in absolute figures is 33.3 million. The GER target is 25.2% at the end of Twelfth Five Year Plan in 2017 and 30% by 2020. As per AISHE 2014-2015 (P), the data of enrolled students for various streams are as follows: Ph. D- 112456, M. Phil- 32371, PG- 3578587, UG- 24257984, PG Diploma- 160244, Diploma- 559541, Certificate- 91810 and Integrated programmes – 131736. Further, enrollment in stand-alone institutions indicates: Polytechnics- 1391775, PGDM- 30500, Nursing- 146704, Teacher Training- 246795 and within Institutions under Ministries- 17752.    

During the 12th Plan  period, though the thrust is on consolidation of higher education, several new Central Universities, Indian Institutes of Management, Indian Institutes of Technology, National Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and other Institutions of Higher learning have been established. A new scheme ‘Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA)’ has been launched which aims to assist States to open new institutions, consolidate old ones and take appropriate steps to achieve the aims of equity, access and excellence.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is providing General Development Assistance (GDA) to Universities and Colleges declared fit to receive grants under section 12B of the UGC Act, 1956. This assistance is provided to these institutions for their overall development covering aspects like enhancing access, ensuring equity, etc.

Since ‘Education’ is a Concurrent subject, State Governments are also taking various initiatives to increase access to higher education in the States. Besides, Private Universities/Institutions are also catering to the educational aspirations of the youth.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has initiated several steps to include innovation and improvement in course- curricula, introduction of paradigm shift in learning and teaching pedagogy, examination and education system. With a view to allow the flexibility in education system, so that students depending upon their interests and aims can choose interdisciplinary, intra-disciplinary and skill-based courses, choice based credit system (CBCS), is adopted. The choice based credit system not only offers opportunities and avenues to learn core subjects but also explore additional avenues of learning beyond the core subjects for holistic development. The UGC has prepared mainline and specialised model syllabi for undergraduate programmes and made it available to the universities to facilitate the implementation of CBCS.

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has constituted various Academic Boards for Engineering/ Management/ Pharmacy/ Architecture programmes consisting of eminent educationists for restructuring the curriculum for all AICTE approved institutions, as per the need of industry/academia. Based on the recommendations of these Academic Boards, AICTE has designed “Model Curriculum” for PG/UG and Diploma programmes in Engineering/Technology, Pharmacy, Architecture, Management and Hotel Management & Catering Technology, which is available at AICTE web-portal link http://www.aicte-india.org/modelsyllabus.php.

The Government is in the process of framing a New Education Policy (NEP) for meeting  the  changing  dynamics  of  the  population’s  requirement  with  regard  to  quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping  its  students  with  the  necessary  skills  and  knowledge  and  to  eliminate  the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry, for which it has carried out nearly a year-long consultations, which included online, grassroots and national level thematic deliberations on 33 identified themes.

Three themes under Higher Education are relevant to policy initiative for restructuring of the curriculum. The theme “Integrating skill development in higher education” on integrating skills within the higher education; theme “Linking higher education to society” regarding re-establishing and strengthening of higher education’s close linkages with the society and the theme “New Knowledge” relating to higher education institutions identifying the new domains of knowledge in the global scenario.

The Government of India has constituted a Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy which consists of Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary as the Chairman and Smt. Shailaja Chandra, former Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sevaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sudhir Mankad, former Chief Secretary, Gujarat & Prof. J.S. Rajput, former Director, NCERT as members. The Committee is expected to examine the outcome documents, recommendations and suggestions received and formulate a draft National Education Policy as well as a Framework for Action (FFA).

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.

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