NEW DELHI: India’s university regulator, University Grants Commission, for the first time, has prepared model syllabi for a few subjects that universities will be encouraged to adopt.
The “Learning Outcome-based Curriculum Framework” has been prepared by expert committees constituted by the University Grants Commission last year.
The draft syllabi for undergraduate courses in Hindi, statistics, electronic science, biochemistry, environmental science and journalism and mass communication have now been released for public feedback before they are formally notified.
UGC secretary Rajneesh Jain said that the idea behind developing the new “centralised” syllabi is to shift students from rote learning to engaged learning with a greater focus on continued project works and practical exposure.
“There are top universities which already have very good syllabi but not all of the 900 plus universities in the country have resources to keep updating curriculum as per the changing times and needs and therefore we are giving them a reference framework,” Jain told this newspaper.
He, however, clarified that universities will not be forced to adopt the suggested syllabi and will continue to enjoy autonomy in crafting their curriculum for various courses.
The regulator plans to gradually release draft syllabi for many other subjects at UG and PG level
The move comes soon after a five-year plan, Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP)—prepared by ten expert groups— recently recommended to the Union Human Resources Development Ministry that an internship spanning at least four months be mandatory in all undergraduate courses in India.
Based on the suggestion, the government has decided to ask institutes of higher education to make internships, across all streams, compulsory. “These steps are parts of our efforts to improve quality of higher education in the country and improve the learning outcome,” an HRD ministry official said.
The HRD ministry released the five-year vision plan, Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP), on June 29.
Some of its suggested initiatives include doubling the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education, positioning 50 Indian institutions among the top-1,000 global universities and promoting India as a global education destination.