The Ministry of Human Resource Development has recently made a draft National Education Policy 2019 (NEP 2019) available for comments on its website. The draft policy touches down various aspects of the educational system in India, including school, professional and vocational education. Also,the policy received a huge backlash on the Hindi imposition row in states after which the ministry has updated the draft again. The draft also mentions a lot about the future of regulating authorities like MCI or DCI.
Professional healthcare education in India offered largely in silos of individual subjects and separate from general higher education. The practice of setting up separate health sciences universities in each State to affiliate colleges offering professional education in their respective disciplines, has resulted in deepening the isolation further. Although the effort in professional education has been focused mainly on making students ready for ‘jobs’, the outcomes, in terms of employability, leave a lot to be desired.
Professional education must also be separated from professional practice. In the healthcare sector for example, professional practice requires considerable oversight by a body of professionals, with regard to the need for updating the knowledge of doctors and other medical practitioners on a regular basis, and with regards to the various protocols and procedures followed for treatment. For the same professional councils, such as the MCI (Medical council of India), INC (Indian National Council), DCI (Dental Council of India) and several others, who regulate professional practice to also specify curriculum and regulate professional education is an undesirable anomaly that must be set right immediately.
- The regulatory role of the 17 or more professional councils such as the BCI, ICAR, MCI (or the proposed National Medical Commission - NMC), INC, VCI and others, with regard to professional education, will be converted to being PSSBs as far as education is concerned. They will not specify curriculum. Instead, they will specify professional standards and / or a curriculum framework, against which educational institutions will prepare their own curricula
- It must be left to the universities and colleges disbursing professional education to work out all the academic aspects such as curriculum, pedagogy and so on
- The remaining responsibilities of governance, regulation, accreditation, and funding must be aligned with that of general education, with RSA, NHERA, NAAC and HEGC extending their roles to also cover professional education
Please find attached the draft of the NEP 2019 and kindly use the comment section below to express your views.