Ambitious Modi Plan to Restructure HE and Boost Research

Source: University World News

India’s Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) this week unveiled a draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi secured a solid majority for his Bharatiya Janata Party in national elections.

Centre not to bear cost of RTE fee reimbursement

Source: The New Indian Express via PwC – EdLive

The state governments will now have to bear the entire cost of fee reimbursement to schools under the Right to Education Act as the centre will not provide financial aid to any state this year. According to sources, the proposal of the Ministry of HRD to support states in a 65:35 cost sharing ratio is still pending before the union cabinet. “Not just Karnataka, no other state will receive finance from the centre. That is why the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has no provision for fee reimbursement in its budget this year,” said an SSA official. Karnataka’s Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, who has been stressing on the need for the centre to financially support the state to reimburse schools, maintained that the centre has to ‘prove its commitment’ by supporting the government. Meanwhile, the Department of Public Instruction has issued circular asking block education officers to make a final list of admissions made under the RTE quota and calculate the total amount of reimbursements to be made (separate calculations for class I and pre-primary). This information has to be submitted to the Director (primary education) before 15 September 2012.

Industries may soon get a role in higher education

Source: Mint via Pwc – EdLive

In an effort to boost research and employable workforce, India is preparing to involve industries in higher education. The Ministry for HRD expects this will solve issues related to land availability and finance. In return, the government will give industries independence and fast-track regulatory clearances for opening institutes that will focus on research specific to industry requirements.

Recently, the Ministry, in association with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), invited 17 government departments and ministries and nearly 60 companies to a two-day conference in Delhi.“If we reach an agreement, then we don’t have to go to Parliament and it will be more of a ministry-level decision to engage industry in higher education,” said SS Mantha, Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the regulator in the higher education sector for technical institutes and a part of the HRD Ministry. Shalini Sharma, Head of the education wing, CII, said companies are open to the idea and want to know what the government is offering, “Through the conference we want to understand what the industry requires on the regulatory front. We will try to accommodate that.” Mantha added, “The government cannot do everything by its own. Once the industry participates, issues like land and finance will be taken care of easily.” He said that involving the industry will promote theme-based research and innovation during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17). This will ‘stimulate discussion between industry players and ministries’ on setting up institutes that will focus on specific research and enter into twinning and collaborative programmes with other universities and research organisations.