2017 can be considered as the watershed year for education sector in the India. Many significant moves taken up by the Government helped in increasing efficiency and transparency of country’s educational institutes, writes Manek N Daruvala, Founder & Director, Triumphant Institute of Management Education (TIME) for Elets News Network (ENN).
Setting up of National Testing Agency (NTA)
The agency would be responsible for conducting entrance examinations in the country and has been allocated a fund of Rs 25 crore to begin its operations. While more clarity is expected on the modalities and functioning of the agency, we believe that this is a significant step.
Some of the exams which would be conducted by NTA will be JEE Main, NEET UG, UGC NET, CTET, etc. These are likely to be conducted twice a year compared to once a year, currently. This will bring relief to aspirants who have to wait for another year to appear in the exams for improving their ranks or scores.
NTA is also expected to bring in standardised testing which will help reduce allegations of uneven difficulty levels in various sittings of an exam.
Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017 was passed by the Parliament in December. The Bill was supported by the majority of members of Parliament to make the IIMs autonomous.
The Bill provides autonomy to IIMs for taking administrative decisions, approving development plans and granting degrees (postgraduate diplomas earlier). Five members of the IIM board will comprise the alumni to strengthen industry-institute connection. The power to appoint director and registrar of any IIM still rests with the Board.
This is a significant step towards establishing independence in the functioning of the IIMs. The step is expected to help the premier B-schools of the country to take significant steps for improving the management education standards.
Raising the income limit for Creamy Layer
The “Creamy layer” ceiling for OBC reservation has been raised to Rs 8,00,000 per annum from Rs 6,00,000. The increase, witnessed after four years, will give a shot in the arm to those OBCs who were just outside the limit, so far.
National Education Policy
The HRD Ministry has constituted a nine member panel to frame new National Education Policy (NEP). The new policy will replace the current policy framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. The panel is expected to submit its report by March 2018. The new NEP is supposed to consist of steps and practices for improving education standards in the country.