Key structural reforms in the education sector, especially the merger of regulators leading to the creation of Higher Education Commission of India
(HECI), will happen this year, AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe said on Thursday. The HECI will be a single overarching umbrella body for higher education, as per the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
"All regulatory bodies including the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), University Grants Commission (UGC) and National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE) will be merged to form the HECI. This will come into effect this year," Sahasrabudhe said.
Speaking at the one-day national conference on "Salient features of approval process of handbook (20212022) for resetting technical education and implementing NEP", he said the NEP had several features benefiting students, faculty and institutions.
"It creates a window of opportunities. For instance, top 100 institutions in the national ranking can tie-up with foreign institutions figuring in the top 500 in global ranking for academic and research collaboration and twinning," he said.
Blaming a section of media for the "confusion" that mathematics, physics and chemistry are not mandatory for admissions to undergraduate engineering and technology, Sahasrabudhe said "it is absolutely elementary."
Without these one can't complete education in engineering, he said.
Aiming to provide more flexibility in admissions, the policy permits students from other streams to join engineering colleges but mandates them to take a course in physics, maths or subjects they have not studied in higher secondary, he added.
"They have to complete these bridge courses in order to complete the engineering degrees," he said while talking to reporters later.
Asked about the fate of the students who failed to cope with maths, physics or chemistry, he replied, "those who come with commerce background could excel in entrepreneurship."
"Those who seek admission come with passion and skills. They will cope but if they fail, they have to pursue some other course."
Earlier speaking at the conference, G V Selvam, vice president, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), painted a grim picture of the universities facing the challenges of sourcing qualitatively good teaching faculty.
H Chaturvedi, director, BIMTECH, Greater Noida, urged the Centre to provide a financial package, similar to the one extended by the US government to the institutions there, for the educational institutions in the country wilting under low admissions, financial crunch and loss of jobs.
The conference was held under the aegis of Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI).