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Education reforms part of centre’s 100-day plan

National Education Policy & expansion in the list of Institutes of Eminence part of plan.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: May 25, 2019, 07.54 AM IST
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The Modi government is also preparing to confer the Institute of Eminence status to an additional 24 institutes.
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NEW DELHI: Back with a thumping majority, the BJP-led NDA government is quickly preparing to move ahead on politically sensitive educational reforms that were held back in an election year.

These include a National Education Policy to replace the Congress era 1986 policy, a big expansion in the list of Institutes of Eminence and a single regulator for higher education in the country. The three initiatives, among a host of others, are ready to be rolled out within the first 100 days and have already been cleared by the Prime Minster’s Office, ET has learnt. The PMO had tasked each ministry with preparing a 100-day governance plan for implementation from June and had even held presentations on the same while the political class was busy with elections. The Human Resource Development ministry plans to release the National Education policy in the first week of June for public comment, and move it for Cabinet approval mid-July, as per the timeline agreed upon.

The national education policy, which was part of the BJP manifesto of 2014, has been hanging fire despite two committees being constituted and extensive nationwide consultations held since 2015. The report of the second committee chaired by K Kasturirangan has been identified as one that ‘sets the tone for the next generation of reforms in the higher education system’. The long-held plan to set up a single regulator for higher education, which had to be dropped in 2018 amid strong political opposition, is also set to make a comeback. The draft bill for a Higher Education Commission has been prepared in consultation with Niti Aayog. It will be circulated to states for consultation next month and moved for consideration by Parliament soon after.

The Modi government is also preparing to confer the Institute of Eminence status to an additional 24 institutes as recommended by the Empowered Expert Group chaired by N Gopalaswami. While the EEG made the recommendations in December, the government held on to it amid simmering controversies about the choice of institutes and the imminent elections. The eligibility of the Reliance Group backed Jio University for IoE status had drawn heavy flaputting the government on the back foot.

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