Varanasi push for adoption of ‘Bharatiyata’ in higher education


UGC Chairman M Jagdish Kumar Photo credit Twitter Ministry of Education

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, July 6: While two years have gone by without substantial changes in the higher education, Prime Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a three day ‘Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Samagam’ in Varanasi tomorrow, which is being organized by the Ministry of Education.

Southern states, particularly Tamil Nadu, have been up in arms against the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 on the grounds that it would impose Hindi on the students in the state.

Some of the states, including Karnataka, have adopted NEP 2020, and they are zealously implementing the provisions of the policy document, which is known to be close to the agenda of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak sangh (RSS).

In line with the wishes of the RSS, some of the educational institutions, including the NCERT and state bodies, have begun re-writing or omitting parts of history, which were previously taught to the students in the secondary schools.

It must be known that Education, as well as Health and Agriculture are in the state list of the Constitution, and thus NEP 2020 unveiled by the Centre is essentially recommendatory in nature. The state government can accept, or reject or even modify the policy as per their requirements.

In Varanasi, meanwhile, the meeting is being hosted by the Centre in association with University Grants Commission and Banaras Hindu University, which will also see participation of 300 Vice Chancellors and Directors from public and private universities, educationists, policy makers, as also industry representatives.

Some of the vice chancellors have been enthusiastically writing columns in newspapers about the significance of the Varanasi deliberations, arguing the case for the greater adoption of the Indian values in the higher education system.

Policy initiatives such as ‘Academic Bank of Credit’, ‘Multiple Entry Exit’, ‘Multi disciplinarity’ and ‘Flexibility in higher education’ are some of the features which the Central government is stressing on for the wider adoption of NEP 2020.

However, it has been seen that the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent disruptions in the classrooms education created visible learning divide, which the Varanasi meeting will also address.

The Prime Minister had during his meeting with the state chief secretaries in Dharamashala last month also urged upon the states to adopt the NEP 2020 at the earliest.

The RSS is growing impatient at the slow pace of the adoption of the NEP 2020 by the states and also the varsities. Some of the Central varsities, including Jawaharlal Nehru University, have reported protests against the NEP 2020.

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