The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development’s new program called EQUIP or Education Quality Improvement Programme aims to boost and improve the quality of higher education in India
This 5 Year action plan is being devised with the help of experts such as former revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Rediff founder Ajit Balakrishnan, and former Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan to name a few. Ten expert groups that were set up have already presented draft plans on various issues pertaining to higher education after a 3-day meeting session held at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie in April 2019.
Some of the topics discussed here included a plan to double the gross enrolment ratio to 52 by the year 2024. The various groups also focussed on ways to increase the enrolment of SC/ST and OBC groups along with the internationalization of institutes, tightening the policy for foreign universities in India and promoting international academic collaborations. On the other hand, Kris Gopalkrishnan’s team focused on the financial aspects of higher education and increased private sector participation.
With EQUIP, the MHRD is also striving to bring about more clarity and transparency on issues such as the appointment of vice-chancellors and fund grants for institutions. One section of experts is also working on creating more eminent institutes, aimed at escalating India’s presence in the World top 100 whereas another group is looking after governance and issues like funding. The entire program is being spearheaded by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javdekar.
A working group will soon be set up for the compilation of the reports, eventually leading to the preparation of the ambitious five-year education plan by June 2019. An HRD Ministry official also added that the plan will be presented to the next government and in the Cabinet in July for approval.