14-JUL-2016: The Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah today delivered the valedictory address at the concluding session of a four-day International Seminar on National Education Policy and NAMODI Framework, which was held at the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh. The seminar was sponsored by by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to discuss the draft vision document which would provide basis for the new National Education Policy 2016.
Delving on the highlights of the new education policy, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah said, "Having been in the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University for four days, our team has been very impressed with the way this international seminar has been conducted and the MHRD in its wisdom has selected a very enlightened VC to head the Draft Vision Document which will be the basis for the NEP 2016. This policy is the need of the hour".
Lt. Gen. Shah pointed out that the proposed NEP 2016 is inspired by the Gandhi's Wardha Scheme of Education formulated as the nationalist education scheme in 1938, wherein skill development and moral values were significant components in order to create responsible and self-reliant citizens for a united great India, which is cherished as Ek Bharat - Shreshtha Bharat.
AMU Vice Chancellor stressed that the National Education Policy, 2016 must be inclusive to cater towards maintaining the multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural fabric of India. It should address the local sensitivities by encouraging and promoting legitimate aspirations of every segment for bringing about social cohesion and religious amity.
He cautioned that in the context of education and nationalism, any endeavour to develop a course that inculcates 'extreme form of nationalism', would carry very dangerous portents. He stressed that "we should not equate nationalism with patriotism" and must develop a counter discourse against the 'colonial neurosis' and 'dependency syndrome'.
He said that the proposed NEP 2016 has broadened the notion of inclusive education by incorporating the various schemes of the central and the state government in the course curriculums of the various educational institutions as well. Hence, there is a clear integration of several sub-schemes such as 'Make in India', 'Start ups', 'Skill India', 'Clean India', 'Yoga and Meditation' have been recommended under the inclusive education.
Lt. Gen. Shah appreciated the proposal of moving towards a university system, "integrating Undergraduate (UG), Postgraduate (PG) and doctoral studies with faculty" concurrently teaching both at UG and PG levels to help improve synergies between teaching and research. He also welcomed the proposal of creating Indian Education Service and suggested that it should be implemented in newly created institutions which come into existence in a decade from now.
He emphasized the need for making the enrolment policy sensitive to the socio-regional diversities to prevent ghettoization of education. He said that Good Ph.D. theses should be incentivized through an institution like the Shodhganga may be assigned with this task with all the required rigours and objectivities. He said that "case study" method equipped with a multidisciplinary approach would also be a good initiative to this effect. He said that even the engineering, medical and technical institutions must teach some quantum of humanities and social sciences.
Welcoming the proposal of an "Education Commission" comprising academic experts to assist the Ministry of HRD, Lt. Gen. Shah said this will help to keep up with the changes in global scenario and national aspirations.
He said that "we should think of linking salary with quality research outputs". Similarly, according to him, the "policy of rotating Chairman and Dean" might be changed with these offices being given to senior faculty members only who would be retiring from their services.
Underlining the adverse impact of language competence on educational performance, Lt. Gen. Shah said that 'we need to strengthen our students on their language competence' so that they are made comfortable in one more language, other than their mother tongue when they leave their primary or secondary classes.
He stressed that more rigorous and more transparent methods of recruitment such as a two-tier evaluation system should be adopted at the entry level, to judge candidates on the basis of their performance in live classroom and in formal selection committees.
Similarly, the recruitment of non-teaching staff needs to be made much more competitive and meritocratic to attract better supporting staff for university governance, he added.