Parliamentary panel on MEME system in NEP 2020

Context-Recently, the Parliament Standing Committee on Education tabled a report on the
“Implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 in Higher Education.”

Assessment of Report

  • Implementation: The report assesses the salient features of the NEP’s implementation in
    the higher education sector and the progress made so far.
  • Number of Universities: The Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education has
    informed that there are a total of 1043 Universities in the country at present.
  • Out of which 70% are governed under the State Acts, 18% are governed by the Central
    Government.
  • Enrolment: It has further been informed that 94% of students are enrolled in
    State/private Institutions while 6% are enrolled in Central Institutions.
  • Progress on Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER): There has been a gradual increase for all
    students and it has risen from 24.1% in 2016-17 to 27.3% in 2020-21. The GER for ST and
    SC students has also risen from 2016-17 to 2020-21.
  • GER: It is calculated by dividing the number of students enrolled in higher education out
    of the total population in the relevant age group of 18-23 years.
    Status of Implementation
  • Fruitful Progress: Through various appreciable measures like PM Schools for Rising India
    (PM SHRI), e-VIDHYA, NIPUN Bharat etc. the implementation of the NEP 2020 is
    progressing on course with its vision to transform the higher education system to be
    more inclusive, flexible, and aligned with global standards.
  • Best Practices– Jammu and Kashmir (J&K): The UT of J&K is one of the first in the country
    to implement NEP 2020 from the academic session 2022 in all the Higher Education
    Institutions.
  • Focus on Creativity: NEP 2020 places thrust on developing a student’s ‘Creative
    Potential’ based on higher-order cognitive capacities and cultivating innovation and
    creativity in learners through industry-institution linkages and collaborative programs.
  • Internationalization of Education: Freedom being given to Indian universities to set up
    campuses in other countries and initiate start-up incubation centers and from among
    the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India.
  • Implementation of the Multi Entry and Multiple Exit (MEME) options within the
    framework of the National Education Policy (NEP) is a vital component of NEP 2020,
    offering students greater flexibility and choice in their educational pathways.
    Issues Associated with NEP
  • Accessibility: Limited access to higher education in socio-economically disadvantaged
    areas due to financial barriers, geographical constraints and stereotype threat faced by
    students of marginalized sections etc.
  • Multiple Entry And Multiple Exit (MEME): According to the report, while the MEME
    looked like a flexible system, which was being operated by Western educational
    institutions effectively, it might not work well in the country.
  • Linguistic Issue: Most of the HEIs primarily use English as a medium of instruction and
    there is a lack of HEIs that teach in local languages.
  • Lack of Funding: Public investment in the Education sector needs to reach 6% of GDP at
    the earliest.
  • According to the Economic Survey 2022-23, total education outlay added up to 2.9% of
    the GDP.
    The Path Ahead
  • Fulfillment of Goals: By 2030, every district in the country should have at least one
    multidisciplinary HEI and that the GER in higher education, including vocational
    education, should be increased to 50% by 2035.
  • Research and Innovation: There is steady progress in the field of higher education and
    specific impetus is required to be assigned to factors like anusandhan (research), that
    can help the country’s ranking in patent filing.
  • Effective Funding: Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) needs to diversify its
    funding sources beyond government allocations and explore partnerships with private
    sector organizations, philanthropic foundations, and international financial institutions.
  • Digitisation of Education: The creation of a National Educational Technology Forum
    (NETF) can go a long way in expansion of digital infrastructure to make the country a
    Global Knowledge Hub.
  • Ensuring Smooth Operation of MSME: Develop comprehensive guidelines including
    specific eligibility criteria, credit transfer mechanisms, and providing a clear roadmap for
    students pursuing different exit points.
  • Implementation of a standardized Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) system allows
    students to earn and transfer credits seamlessly across institutions.