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Parliamentary panel on MEME system in NEP 2020

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus:  Government Policies and Interventions

 

Source: TH

 Context: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education has advised the Indian government to hold discussions with stakeholders regarding the multiple entry and multiple exit (MEME) system proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

 

What is a multiple entry and multiple exit (MEME) system?

The Multiple Entry and Multiple Exit (MEME) system is an educational approach that allows students in higher education to enter and exit their academic programs at various points, not necessarily following a traditional linear progression.

 

Benefits:

  • It offers students greater flexibility by permitting them to leave with certificates or diplomas at different stages rather than completing a full degree program, which can suit their individual needs and circumstances.
  • This system is intended to provide diverse educational pathways and enhance access to higher education.

 

However, the parliamentary panel has criticised the MEME system due to:

  • Uncertainty in Student Numbers: The panel expressed concerns that the high student population in India makes it difficult for institutions to predict how many students will exit or join midway, leading to uncertainty in managing resources and maintaining pupil-teacher ratios.
  • Geographical Challenges: Uneven distribution of higher educational institutions across the country, particularly in rural areas, poses challenges in implementing MEME effectively.
  • Lack of Clear Framework: The panel noted that there is a need for comprehensive guidelines and a well-defined framework for MEME options, including specific eligibility criteria and credit transfer mechanisms.
    • Without these, the implementation of MEME could be problematic.
  • Potential for Devalued Degrees: Some critics, including students and teachers, fear that the MEME system could devalue degrees by allowing students to exit with lower-level qualifications, potentially leading to a perception of producing cheap labour for the job market.
  • State-Level Opposition: Some states, like Kerala, have decided not to implement MEME in their colleges and universities, highlighting a lack of uniformity in its acceptance across regions.
  • Dropout Concerns: Experts and critics have expressed concerns that the MEME system could increase dropout rates, as students may opt for early exits without completing full-degree programs.

 

Other Recommendations by the Panel:

  • Introduction of the “Design Your Degree” programme (adopted in Jammu University) in Higher Education Institutions for Personalized, Interdisciplinary Learning.
  • Develop and distribute educational content tailored to local needs and languages.
  • Research and innovation in the field of education for marginalized communities.

 

Provisions of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 for higher education:

ProvisionsDescription
Increase GER to 50% by 2035NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education, including vocational education, from about 26% (2018) to 50% by 2035
Holistic Multidisciplinary EducationThe policy envisions broad-based, multi-disciplinary, holistic undergraduate (UG) education with flexible curricula.
It promotes creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education, and introduces multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
UG education can be 3 or 4 years with various exit options and certifications at different stages.
By 2025, at least 50% of learners through school and higher education systems shall have exposure to vocational education
RegulationThe Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be established as a single overarching umbrella body for the entire higher education system, excluding medical and legal education.
HECI will consist of four independent verticals:

 

National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation
General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting
Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding
National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation
Both public and private HEIs will adhere to the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards.
Rationalised Institutional ArchitectureThe definition of a university will be expanded to include a spectrum of institutions, ranging from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges
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

 

Major initiatives under NEP 2020 (for all types of education) are:

InitiativeDescription
PM-SHRIHigh-quality education in schools with a focus on equity and inclusivity
NIPUN BharatUniversal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy by Grade 3, by 2026-27
PM e-VIDYAPromoting online education and digital learning through various platforms and resources.
NCF FS and Jadui PitaraNational Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage and play-based learning for ages 3-8
NISHTHACapacity-building program for teachers and school principals.
NDEARBlueprint for digital technology-based education applications.
Academic FrameworksIntroduction of National Credit Framework (NCrF) and National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF).
Increased Investment in EducationAdvocating for 6% of GDP allocation to education.
Educational Innovation in GIFT CityAllowing foreign universities in Gujarat’s GIFT City to offer specialized courses.
World-Class Institutions SchemeCreating top-notch academic and research facilities and designating “Institutions of Eminence” (IoEs).
GIAN and SPARCTapping expertise for academic resources and fostering research collaborations.

 

Insta Links:

Key highlights of the NEP

 

Mains Links:

National Education Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient the education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (UPSC 2020)

 

Prelims links

Consider the following statements: (UPSC 2018)

 

  1. As per the Right to Education (RTE) Act, to be eligible for appointment as a teacher in a State, a person would be required to possess the minimum qualification laid down by the concerned State Council of Teacher Education.
  2. As per the RTE Act, for teaching primary classes, a candidate is required to pass a Teacher Eligibility Test conducted in accordance with the National Council of Teacher Education guidelines.
  3. In India, more than 90% of teacher education institutions are directly under the State Government.

 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 3 only

 

Answer: B