India allows foreign universities to open campuses in the country under NEP 2020
The New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 was launched on July 29. Earlier, in the afternoon the Union cabinet approved the policy that aims to overhaul the country’s education system.
Union Ministers for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Prakash Javadekar and Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, made the announcement on the NEP- 2020.
Earlier on May 1, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reviewed the NEP- 2020, for which draft was prepared by a panel of experts led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Kasturirangan. The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”.
The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session kick start.
India approved a plan to allow foreign universities to open campuses in the country as part of efforts to boost education to strengthen the economy as it struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Politicians affiliated with the left as well as a few from the ruling party have opposed several attempts by previous administrations to open up the sector to overseas institutions.
But many government officials have been pushing the move as more than 750,000 Indian students study abroad, spending billions of dollars outside the country every year.
Nearly half of the 248 million Indian students studied in private schools in 2019, according to government estimates, as teaching standards in the majority of state-run schools remain low amid a shortage of teachers, poor regulation and inadequate funding. The government will allow "entry of top world ranked universities to open campuses in our country", a government statement said after a cabinet meeting chaired by Modi.
Critics said it remained to be seen whether top-rated universities would open campuses, considering a regulatory framework that will also cap fees charged by educational institutions.
The change comes as part of a policy to increase public spending on education to nearly 6% of gross domestic product from around 4% now.
Education is among sectors Modi is aiming to reform in an effort to bolster the economy in the wake of the pandemic.
The government is seeking to expand access to higher education to 50% of high school students by 2035, aiming to add about 35 million new places for students, and achieve universal adult literacy before that date, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare told reporters.
The reforms would also include directives such as making school education compulsory from the age of three and encouraging the study of Sanskrit and other Indian languages as well as the use of technology.