The draft new education policy unveiled on Friday proposes a complete restructuring of higher education by reintroducing the four-year programme in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with multiple exit options and scrapping the MPhil programme.Pursuing a PhD, the draft proposes, shall require either a Master’s degree or a four-year Bachelor’s degree with research.
“The three-year traditional B.A., B.Sc., as well as B.Voc. degrees will continue as well for those institutions that wish to continue such programmes, but all Bachelor’s degrees will move towards taking a more comprehensive liberal education approach,” states the draft made public within hours of its submission to the new HRD Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, on Friday.In addition to the undergraduate overhaul, the policy has pitched for inclusion of early childhood education (from age 3 onwards) as part of formal school education and reconfiguration of school curriculum and pedagogy in a new 5+3+3+4 design, corresponding to age group of 3-8 years, 8-11 years, 11-14 years, and 14-18 years, respectively.
The draft also makes a case for the extension of the Right to Education Act “downwards to include up to three years of early childhood education prior to Grade 1, and upwards to include Grades 11 and 12”. More significantly, it calls for a review of Clause 12(1)(c) – providing for mandatory 25 per cent reservation for economically weaker section students in private schools – in wake of its alleged misuse.