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
- 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
- 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
- According to the Economic Survey 2022-23, total education outlay added up to 2.9% of
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.