The National Education Policy in 2020 has initiated some significant reforms to bring the Indian education system in sync with international standards. One of the most important reforms is the launch of four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate courses and one-year postgraduate programmes.
The first academic year for these programs begins in 2022; the students have been granted seats based on their scores on the common entrance test. Various institutes of eminence have accepted the entrance test for their multidisciplinary programmes.
Here are some of the salient features of this new education system –
- Students will be allowed multiple entries and exits into the programs to facilitate education for students from all walks of life.
- Students can opt to store the credits they earn in the academic bank of credit. It will digitally store the academic credits earned by an exiting student until they are ready to re-join the program.
- Students who complete one year will receive a certificate. Two years will receive a diploma, and three years will receive a bachelor’s degree. The preferred option is that students should complete the four-year multidisciplinary program.
- The multidisciplinary approach allows students to earn credits for academics and community engagement and service projects, environmental education, and value-based education.
- All universities with capacity and academic resources will offer multidisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
The NEP suggests several reform measures to reduce the fragmented nature of the Indian education system. It emphasizes the development of cognitive skills, employability, and learning outcomes through the multidisciplinary approach. In the long term, affiliated colleges will be phased out, and instead, institutions will be divided into three broad categories –
- Research institutions
- Teaching institutions
- Autonomous degree-granting institutions
The New Education Policy is paving the way for multidisciplinary education at India’s undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is opening up new opportunities for interdisciplinary research in STEM fields and fields like humanities and social sciences. Higher education institutions will be re-modelled to give students access to several disciplines. It is deemed to help India create a next-gen workforce better equipped to face future challenges.