Prelims level : Governance Mains level : GS-II Governance, social justice and IR
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Why in News:

  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development plans to launch an ambitious ₹1.5 lakh crore action plan to improve the quality and accessibility of higher education over the next five years.

Background: / EQUIP:

  • EQUIP stands for the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme and was crafted by ten committees led by experts within the government
  • The ten committees have drafted strategy to improve access to higher education, especially for underserved communities; improve the gross enrolment ration; improve teaching and learning processes; build educational infrastructure; improve the
  • quality of research and innovation; use technology and online learning tools; and work on accreditation systems, governance structures and financing.

What were the recommendations of Subramaniam committee?

  • T.S.R.Subramaniam committee was formed in the year 2015 and the committee submitted following recommendations.
  • Indian Education Service (IES) should be established as an all India service with the cadre controlling authority vesting Resource HRD ministry.
  • The outlay on education should be raised to at least 6% of GDP without further loss of time. Teacher Entrance Tests (TET) should be made compulsory for recruitment of all teachers.
  • Compulsory licensing for teachers in government and private schools should be made mandatory.
  • Pre-school education for children in the age group of 4 to 5 years should be declared as a right. The no detention policy must be continued for young children until completion of class V when the child will be 11 years old.
  • A National Level Test open to every student who has completed class XII from any School Board should be designed.
  • The mid-day meal (MDM) program should now be extended to cover students of secondary schools. The University Grants Commission (UGC) needs to be made leaner and thinner and given the role of disbursal of scholarships and fellowships.
  • Top 200 foreign universities should be allowed to open campuses in India.

What are the issues with these recommendations?

  • The original report recommended that political parties to be banned from appointing Vice Chancellors for universities.
  • A radical reform it had recommended is separate bureaucratic framework for HRD functions.
  • An autonomous body to handle the selection of teachers for government schools and colleges was also recommended.
  • These recommendations may not have been new, but nearly all of them broke with the dogmas of the past.

What is the purpose of new committee?

  • The government is not satisfied with the reports of TSR Subramanian Committee.
  • Fresh and comprehensive reports are the main objectives for the government to announce the new committee. The new committee will be headed by ISRO chief K Kasturirangan.
  • The new committee will consider inputs from the Subramanian committee reports.

What should be done?

  • The government’s intention on reforming education would be successful only when it is ready to accept the recommendations and implement them.
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