UGC QUALITY MANDATE…?

While the Vice Chancellors from universities across the nation had resolved to improve the quality of teaching-learning process and achieve the UGC Quality Mandate in universities and the affiliated institutions by 2020 and NAAC accreditation for all institutions by 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a great setback for this endeavour as well as the whole educational set-up that has been adversely affected in the current situation. Now it is quite evident that the progress on this front will definitely get delayed. However, the newly evolved factors during the pandemic will have to be taken utmost care of while moving ahead to achieve the commitment within a timeline that will have to be set afresh. Given the technological transformation having changed the means adopted to disseminate knowledge, it is necessary to use the latest technological equipments in imparting education as is being done in the ongoing pandemic period but with a lot of hurdles in adopting online mode due to non affordability to purchase mobiles or laptops by the economically weaker sections, besides poor internet connectivity in far flung areas. It is a fact that the nation has achieved a lot in the field of education in terms of quantity or numbers but so far as quality is concerned the sector lags far behind. Lack of innovation and quality research continues to be the foremost challenge for the country even today It needs to be realized by those at the helm of affairs in the concerned ministry that quality expansion and teaching reform is the need of the hour. To attain this objective it is necessary to create a positive and lively environment to enhance the quality of education in all central and private universities. While many Indians, including few parliamentarians, are among the world’s top teachers, it seems that the concerned Ministry has not focussed on making the best use of such resources. It is time to adopt and implement Learning Outcome Based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) in higher educational institutions with fresh amendments so as to cover even the current pandemic situation. There is a lot of scope for bringing the Indian temples of education at least to a respectable slot at the international level. All the centrally-funded universities, state universities, deemed universities and private universities will have to sincerely commit to transforming the universities into institutions engaged in cutting-edge research blended harmoniously with quality teaching for creating and disseminating new knowledge that has full potential of remaining undisturbed even in pandemic situations. However, simultaneously there is a dire need for bringing revolutionary changes in the system to ensure the complete transformation of the educational system at the grass-root level. It is an open secret that the substandard infrastructure coupled with the dearth of teachers in specific subjects in the schools at the block level as well as in remote areas besides mushrooming of the private institutions without having the optimum facilities for the students is one of the significant reasons for failure to achieve optimum quality education for the students. In such a situation a series of steps need to be taken in this regard with full vigour besides incorporating legal provisions to facilitate promoting quality education with none daring to flirt with this most vital sector. The task to show India’s prowess to the world in the field of education might seem difficult but it is not impossible.