Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said in Lok Sabha that the education system in the country got severely affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now, the ministry of education is trying to bring many new changes on the bases of New Education Policy (NEP).

The NEP-2020 also envisions setting up of a Higher Education Commission of India as an umbrella body with four independent verticals to perform distinct functions of regulation, accreditation, funding, and academic standard setting. Accordingly, the Ministry is in the process of drafting a Higher Education Commission of India Bill.

The NEP-2020, inter-alia, envisions setting up of Model public Universities for holistic and multidisciplinary education, at par with IITs, IIMs, etc., called MERUs (Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities) which will aim to attain the highest global standards in quality education.

This information was shared by the Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The NEP further states that all programmes, courses, curricula, and pedagogy across subjects, including those in-class, online, and in ODL modes as well as student support will aim to achieve global standards of quality, the minister added.

The Ministry of Education has announced NEP 2020 on July 29, 2020 after obtaining approval of the Union Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said it has notified the UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 on September 4, 2020, and further an amendment on July 1, 2021.

These regulations lay down the minimum standards of instruction for the grant of degrees through Open and Distance Learning mode and online mode.

The UGC has further informed that in view of the recommendation of National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3 per cent (2018) to 50 per cent by 2035 and to further promote Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and online education, the UGC has constituted an Expert Committee to review existing ODL and Online regulatory framework while ensuring quality, driven by simplified recognition system and processes.