Union Human Resource Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ’Nishank’ chaired the Special Meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held in New Delhi today. The meeting was attended by Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism, Shri Kiren Rijiju, MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and MoS, Ministry of Minority Affairs, and Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Human Resource Development.
26 Education Ministers of various States and UTs, representatives of States and Union Territories, Members of CABE, Heads of Autonomous Organisations, Vice Chancellors of Universities, and Shri R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Department of Higher Education and Member Secretary, CABE and Smt. Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy were present in the meeting along with senior officials of the Central and State Governments.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Shri Pokhriyal informed the House that the Government has initiated a major exercise to formulate a National Education Policy that will aim to fulfil the aspiration of the youth for quality education and make our country a knowledge superpower. The extant National Policy on Education, 1986 modified in 1992 required changes to meet the contemporary and futuristic needs of our large youth population. Thus, this policy is being brought out after more than three decades. He further highlighted that a massive consultative process over four years has been undertaken and the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 has been submitted by the Committee formed to Draft National Education Policy headed by Dr. K. Kasturirangan, to the Ministry on 31st May 2019.
He said that this Special Meeting of CABE has been convened to discuss the Draft NEP so that in the spirit of cooperative federalism both the Central and State Governments interact and engage in a healthy and enriching dialogue to bring out a robust policy that will empower our youth to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
While addressing the gathering Shri Dhotre highlighted that several new initiatives are being taken both in school and higher education to increase access, ensure inclusion, and promote quality and excellence. He appreciated that the State Governments have also been making pioneering efforts to make education accessible, equitable and qualitative. He said that the educational reforms are an ongoing process and the Government is committed to bring out relevant changes suited to dynamic socio-economic needs. With time, new concerns do emerge, for example, eradication of single-use plastic, swachhata, and increasing the green coverage, as envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. These ideas have caught the fancies of the people, especially the younger ones. These concerns also need to be included in our educational planning and practices.
Shri Kiren Rijiju in his address gave an overview of the Fit India Movement. He echoed the views of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi that ‘Fit India Movement’ should become a national goal. He said that the technology has reduced our daily fitness routines and the lack of a physical fitness regime has resulted in lifestyle diseases. He exhorted the states to popularize the Fit India movement in their educational institutions and sensitize people to move towards a fitness regime. He added that our country has a large and growing youth population and if our youth are not healthy and fit, they cannot contribute to the economic growth and national development.
Shri Prahlad Singh Patel said that culture and education are related and interdependent. He added that children and youth should be motivated to learn more and more from interaction among various cultures, and education should impart knowledge and culture to the new generation and transform the outlook of the students.
During the inaugural session of CABE meeting, the Union Minister for HRD released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018-19. Some of main findings of the survey are: GER in higher education has increased from 25.8 in 2017-18 to 26.3 in 2018-19, while in absolute terms the enrolment increased from 3.66 crore to 3.74 crore students. GER for SCs has also shown a growth from 21.8 to 23.0 and STs from 15.9 to 17.2. In terms of increase in the number of universities, they have grown from 903 (2017-18) to 993 (2018-19) and total HEIs from 49,964 to 51,649 in the same corresponding period. The number of faculty increased from 13.88 lakhs to 14.16 lakhs.
The Minister also launched the Plagiarism Detention Software (PDS) “Shodh Shuddhi”. This service is being implemented by INFLIBNET, an Inter University Centre (IUC) of UGC. PDS will significantly help to improve the quality of research outcome by ensuring the originality of ideas and publication of the research scholars. Initially, about 1000 Universities/ Institutions (Central Universities; Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs); State Public Universities; Deemed Universities; Private Universities; Inter University Centre (IUCs) & Institutes of National Importance are being provided with this service.
The main agenda of the Special meeting of CABE was to discuss the Draft National Education Policy 2019 (DNEP 2019). There were two separate presentations on the main highlights of the DNEP 2019 covering the School and Higher Education. The House had detailed deliberations on several recommendations and reforms proposed in the Draft NEP. There were valuable suggestions given by the Education Ministers of States, who are equal partners in policy formulation and felt that their inputs are critical so that the proposed National education Policy can be a catalyst to achieve the goals of equitable access to quality education while ensuring affordability of education and instilling greater accountability of
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development in his concluding remarks expressed deep appreciation for the active participation by the CABE members. He said that it was a truly democratic discussion with very valuable inputs, views and suggestions and he respects the sentiments voiced. He assured the house all these inputs and suggestions will be given due importance when the Ministry will finalise the Policy.