The NEP 2020 replaces the 34-year-old National Policy on Education, and according to the government of India, “aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower”.
“The government is also promoting a very Strong stay in India & Study in India program”
With more than 750,000 Indian students studying abroad, the ministry is looking to boost India’s image as an education hub in its own right.
Previously, under the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill 2010, international campuses could only set up in India through a partnership with an Indian college.
According to the NEP policy document, selected universities from the top 100 universities will be facilitated to operate in India. An International Students Office at each institution hosting overseas students will also be set up.
“A legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such [international] universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India”.
The policy also explained that research collaboration and student exchanges between Indian and global institutions will be promoted.
“Further, credits acquired in foreign universities will also be permitted to be counted for the award of a degree,” it reads.
In the view of Sannam S4 executive director Lakshmi Iyer, and Stakeholder Relations manager, Divya Sahni, the internationalisation of Indian institutions has assumed even more significance in these extraordinary times.
“Opening up our country for well-established models that have been successful elsewhere will widen access to cutting edge curriculum and international exposure which will stand our students and academia in good stead,” they wrote.
The NEP 2020 also reintroduces the four-year multidisciplinary bachelor’s or graduate program with exit options, meaning students can exit after one year with a certificate, after two years with a diploma, and after three years with a bachelor’s degree.
The policy also aims at “light but tight” regulation by a single regulator for higher education, discontinuation of M.Phil programs, and for the HE curriculum to have “flexibility of subjects”.
Speaking during a PIE Webinar, Janaka Pushpanathan, director South India at the British Council said the new National Education Policy throws a challenge to other countries because the Indian government is also looking to increase its gross enrolment ratio to 50% by 2035.
“The government is also promoting a very strong Stay in India & Study in India program,” she said.
“I think it’s good for universities in the UK and other countries to be mindful of this and also look at how we can engage with this large student community.
“And if you decode the policy, the 100 top institutions in India can apply to start delivering 100% online courses – so it’s becoming a competitive landscape as well.”