The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), headed by Prakash Javdekar, is working on preparing a landmark five-year plan for development of higher education.
The programme EQUIP or ‘Education Quality Improvement Programme’ is aimed at improving quality and boost access to education in India.
EQUIP will be the similar programme for higher education system as that of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for school education.
As per reports, the plan is likely to be introduced to the next government and if everything goes accordingly, the plan is likely to be presented in the Cabinet in July this year for the approval.
A senior official, who is familiar with the developments, said, “EQUIP has been thought of because there has been no single-window programme for the development of higher education so far and there is a need for it”.
For EQUIP, the MHRD has joined hands with various experts including Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and others from the think-tank to look at several aspects such as – quality of education, accessibility, accreditation, employment, research, governance, and finance.
Apart from this, representatives from Infosys and other tech companies, former vice-chancellors and educationists have also been roped in.
Recently, the experts and ministry officials participated in a meeting to discuss the future of higher education in India at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) from April 21 to April 24, 2019.
One section of experts is working on creating more eminent institutes, aimed at escalating India’s presence in the World top 100 whereas another group is looking after governance and issues like funding.
With EQUIP, the MHRD is also striving to bring about more clarity and transparency on issues such as – appointment of vice-chancellors and fund grants for institutions.