NEW DELHI: The Union education ministry has prepared an ambitious plan to set up about 35 government universities for multiplanetary research at par with Indian Institutes of technology and the Indian Institutes of Management in most states.
Senior government officials said the draft of the project estimates a cost of Rs 100 crore for each university in the first phase and the proposal will be moved to the Union cabinet soon for approval.
The proposal is part of a major policy reform, as envisaged in the National Education Policy adopted by the Centre last year.
“Model public universities for holistic and multidisciplinary education, at par with IITs, IIMs, etc., called MERUs (Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities) will be set up and will aim to attain the highest global standards in quality education,” says the NEP.
“Moving to a multi-disciplinary regime of higher education is a key theme in the NEP and ball will be set rolling with the approvals of the MERUs,” said an official in the higher education department.
Plans are also afoot to establish and strengthen departments in languages, literature, music, philosophy, Indology, art, dance, theatre, education, mathematics, statistics, pure and applied sciences, sociology, economics, sports, translation and interpretation, and other such subjects at all institutes of higher education.
Even engineering institutions, such as IITs, will move towards more holistic and multidisciplinary education with more arts and humanities, the NEP says.
Officials pointed out that the idea is to “phase out single-stream higher education institutes over time while all institutes will be pushed to move towards becoming vibrant multidisciplinary institutions or parts of vibrant multidisciplinary HEI clusters, in order to enable and encourage high-quality multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary teaching and research across fields.”