The UGC will soon launch a common entrance test for admission into all universities in India. Recently the commission had launched a Central University Common Entrance Exam (CUCET). Taking the reforms in the educations sector a step further, the commission would soon extend the scope of CUCET so that the state Universities also could join.
Talking to the Statesman, Prof M Jagadesh Kumar said that it was one of the most important parts of the NEP2020 (National Education Policy). “This would do away with the inequality in the education system of different boards and create a level playing field for all the students of various state universities.
A meeting will soon be held in this regard. I have appealed to all the state Universities in this regard,” Prof Jagadesh said. The chairman said that it was the social responsibility of the various university heads to join the common entrance test and relieve their students of all kinds of pressures and stresses.
Prof.Jagadesha Kumar highlighted the example of Delhi University where the cut off for admission was almost 100 per cent and compared it with other universities. “ In some universities, students do their best but can’t score more than 75 per cent. So this inequality will never give these students a chance to study at Delhi University. We want to provide a level playing field.” he said.
While talking about digital education Mr Kumar said that Digital University would soon become a reality. “We have internally formed a committee in UGC with experts from Industry, Academia, Law universities and open universities and this committee is working on designing a technological platform structure and Academic structure that will work in the ‘Hub and Spoke structure’ model. The Hub will coordinate with several top universities and take the best digital content from these universities. It will take help from Edtech companies in establishing the Technological platform and provide these courses to the students for a certificate, Diploma, and Degree programs. The Hub will be the coordinator and spokes will be participant universities. These universities could be from India and abroad. It will be putting together the best digital resources in India and the world,” Professor told statesman.
Regarding the operations of the Digital University, Professor Prof Jagadesha said, “As a student, I will come to the portal of digital university and I will look at the programs. These programs will be skill-based programs where the students do not need to go and work in a Laboratory. There are a lot of programs in streams like Data science, data analytics, fin-tech, financial management, etc.”
“During the training period, the digital university would also provide facilities like live interactions with teachers and internships in the industry. Once the student joins the course there will be continuous assessment during the span of the course and after the assessment, the student could get the degree,” the UGC chairman added.
According to Professor Kumar, the placement of the students would also be taken care of. “Digital University will also be a platform where the employers could participate so that there is career enhancement for the student,” he said.
Highlighting the benefits of the digital university Prof Kumar said that not only the students would benefit from the university but also a lot of working professionals could use the courses of the University for up-skilling their knowledge and also to be in line with the industry.
Prof Kumar said that there would be special training programs for the teachers of the university so that they could acquire better teaching skills and become contributors to digital content.
When asked about the proposed Higher Education Council of India (HECI) Prof Jgadesha Kumar replied, “HECI would have four verticals – National Higher Education Regulatory council will consist of UGC and other regulatory bodies. Its responsibility would be to set and maintain standards; second would be National Assessment and Accreditation Council NAAC, the current NAAC will be a part of the body and we will encourage the states to come up with their own NAACs, which in turn would be certified by the Central NAAC and prescribe the standards they would use in their respective states, Third, National Research Funding Council, which would put all research funding under one umbrella and enrich the research and the fourth vertical would be the Standard Setting Council will look into the training of the teachers and set the standards that need to be achieved in Higher education.”
UGC would soon make internal amendments to facilitate the opening of foreign university campuses in India, “We will encourage the international universities to come and set up their campus here in India and offer degree programs. Many countries are showing interest. To make them come to India we need a regulation within UGC. We are now working on formulating this regulation so that these universities can establish their campus easily. This regulation will come soon,” the UGC chairman said.