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Common exit test for MBBS suggested
NEW DELHI : The Kasturirangan committee in its
draft of the NEP 2019 has proposed an all India common exit test for all MBBS students at the end of the fourth year of their programme.

The “centralised” exit examination the committee said will play a dual role -- it will also serve as an entrance examination for admission to postgraduate medical programmes.

Similar common exit examinations can also be conducted for dental education and other disciplines “as needed.”

“This exit examination will be administered at the end of the fourth year of the MBBS so that students are relieved of the burden of studying for a separate competitive entrance examinations at the end of their residency period,” the committee said.

Another important suggestion is to allow lateral entry of nursing, dental and other medical discipline graduates into the MBBS course and to increase the intake in medical education. It suggested upgradation of at least 600 district hospitals into teaching hospitals “at the earliest.”

It has recommended for redesigning of the MBBS course, calling for development of a medical education qualification framework “in conjunction with” the medical education regulator.

“The first year or two of the MBBS course will be designed as a common period for all science graduates after which they can take up MBBS, BDS, Nursing or other specialisations. Common foundational courses based on medical pluralism will be followed by core courses focused on specific systems, and electives that encourage bridging across systems,” the draft policy stipulates.

The education policy drafting committee has laid a special emphasis on mainstreaming of the Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy taking note of the “pluralistic health care legacy” of the country.


 After TSR fiasco, Centre introduces draft NEP 2019

By Rajiv Shukla

NEW DELHI : Dumping the draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2016 to the dustbin, the NDA 2 government presented a new draft of the NEP 2019 for public feed-back.

The new avtar of the draft NEP was presented to the new Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhrial 'Nishank' on May 31 by the NEP drafting committee members, headed by former ISRO chief Dr K Kasturirangan.

The recommendations, spread over 500 pages, include changes to training of teachers, suggestions on how school fees must be regulated, and the start of a new, four-year liberal arts undergraduate course. It suggests complete overhaul of the board examinations, removing distinctions between different “streams” of study, a greater freedom to choose subjects and learning in local languages.

The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. A new education policy was part of the BJP’s manifesto in 2014 general polls.

In school education, the policy pitches for sweeping changes in teaching and assessment so that current methods that reward memory and learning by rote are replaced. “Curriculum and pedagogy are transformed by 2022 in order to minimise rote learning and instead encourage holistic development and 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, scientific temper, communication, collaboration, multilingualism, problem solving, ethics, social responsibility, and digital literacy,” the draft says.

The panel said the present system of board exams in class X and XII led to stress and promoted a coaching centre culture, suggesting instead a flexible system spread over the four years between grades IX and XII in which students can take a board examination in a subject in the semester they study it in. It also recommended that students be allowed to retake tests if they feel they can study and do better – especially when computer-based adaptive tests can be rolled out.

The panel has held that private schools may be free to set their fees, but there shall be no arbitrary hikes. Substantial increases that cannot be anticipated and/or justified shall not be made, including under any ‘fees head’, such as ‘school development’, ‘infrastructure fund’, etc, it said. The Right to Education Act should also cover secondary education, the report said, calling for the availability of free and compulsory quality secondary education for all students by 2030.

The committee also proposed major transformation in teacher education by shutting down substandard teacher education institutions. The 4-year integrated stage-specific B.Ed programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.

In the matter of Higher Education the draft NEP calls for a complete change in the present system of regulation where bodies like the University Grants Commission (UGC) not only distribute funds but also enforce regulations. It has called for setting up a National Higher Education Regulatory Authority for a higher education and a similar body for schools.

In higher education, the draft NEP proposes three types of higher education institutions. Type 1: Focused on world-class research and high quality teaching; Type 2: Focused on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research; Type 3: High quality teaching focused on undergraduate education. This will be driven by two Missions -Mission Nalanda & Mission Takshashila. There will be re-structuring of Undergraduate programs (e.g. B.Sc, BA, B.Com, B.Voc) of 3 or 4 years duration and having multiple exit and entry options.

A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions, and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and States. The National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

The private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.

The experts also took into account the report of a panel headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian. “Indian contribution to knowledge and the historical context that led to them will be incorporated wherever relevant, into the existing school curriculum and textbooks,” the policy draft read.

“The topics will include Indian contribution to mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, psychology, yoga, architecture, medicine, as well as governance, polity, society, and conservation course on Indian knowledge systems,” it added.


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