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National Education Policy 2020 for India NEP2020

Chapter 14. Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education

14.1. Entry into quality higher education can open a vast array of possibilities that can lift both individuals as well as communities out of the cycles of disadvantage. For this reason, making quality higher education opportunities available to all individuals must be among the highest priorities. This Policy envisions ensuring equitable access to quality education to all students, with a special emphasis on SEDGs.

14.2. The dynamics and also many of the reasons for exclusion of SEDGs from the education system are common across school and higher education sectors. Therefore, the approach to equity and inclusion must be common across school and higher education. Furthermore, there must be continuity across the stages to ensure sustainable reform. Thus, the policy initiatives required to meet the goals of equity and inclusion in higher education must be read in conjunction with those for school education.

14.3. There are certain facets of exclusion, that are particular to or substantially more intense in higher education. These must be addressed specifically, and include lack of knowledge of higher education opportunities, economic opportunity cost of pursuing higher education, financial constraints, admission processes, geographical and language barriers, poor employability potential of many higher education programmes, and lack of appropriate student support mechanisms.

14.4. For this purpose, additional actions that are specific to higher education shall be adopted by all Governments and HEIs:

14.4.1. Steps to be taken by Governments
(a) Earmark suitable Government funds for the education of SEDGs
(b) Set clear targets for higher GER for SEDGs
(c) Enhance gender balance in admissions to HEIs
(d) Enhance access by establishing more high-quality HEIs in aspirational districts and Special Education Zones containing larger numbers of SEDGs
(e) Develop and support high-quality HEIs that teach in local/Indian languages or bilingually
(f) Provide more financial assistance and scholarships to SEDGs in both public and private HEIs
(g) Conduct outreach programmes on higher education opportunities and scholarships among SEDGs
(h) Develop and support technology tools for better participation and learning outcomes.

14.4.2. Steps to be taken by all HEIs
(a) Mitigate opportunity costs and fees for pursuing higher education
(b) Provide more financial assistance and scholarships to socio-economically disadvantaged students
(c) Conduct outreach on higher education opportunities and scholarships
(d) Make admissions processes more inclusive
(e) Make curriculum more inclusive
(f) Increase employability potential of higher education programmes
(g) Develop more degree courses taught in Indian languages and bilingually
(h) Ensure all buildings and facilities are wheelchair-accessible and disabled-friendly
(i) Develop bridge courses for students that come from disadvantaged educational backgrounds
(j) Provide socio-emotional and academic support and mentoring for all such students through suitable counselling and mentoring programmes
(k) Ensure sensitization of faculty, counsellor, and students on gender-identity issue and its inclusion in all aspects of the HEI, including curricula
(l) Strictly enforce all no-discrimination and anti-harassment rules
(m) Develop Institutional Development Plans that contain specific plans for action on increasing participation from SEDGs, including but not limited to the above items.

( Source : PDF of National Education Policy 2020 at Ministry of Education, India website.)

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NEP 2020 Introduction

Part I. SCHOOL EDUCATION

1. ECCE Early Childhood Care and Education : The Foundation of Learning
2. Foundational Literacy and Numeracy: An Urgent & Necessary Prerequisite to Learning
3. Curtailing Dropout Rates and Ensuring Universal Access to Education at All Levels
4. Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools: Learning Should be Holistic, Integrated, Enjoyable, and Engaging
5. Teachers
6. Equitable and Inclusive Education: Learning for All
7. Efficient Resourcing and Effective Governance through School Complexes/Clusters
8. Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education

Part II. HIGHER EDUCATION

9. Quality Universities and Colleges: A New and Forward-looking Vision for India’s Higher Education System
10. Institutional Restructuring and Consolidation
11. Towards a More Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education
12. Optimal Learning Environments and Support for Students
13. Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty
14. Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education
15. Teacher Education
16. Reimagining Vocational Education
17. Catalysing Quality Academic Research in All Fields through a new National Research Foundation
18. Transforming the Regulatory System of Higher Education
19. Effective Governance and Leadership for Higher Education Institutions

Part III. OTHER KEY AREAS OF FOCUS

20. Professional Education
21. Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
22. Promotion of Indian Languages, Arts and Culture
23. Technology Use and Integration
24. Online and Digital Education: Ensuring Equitable Use of Technology

Part IV. MAKING IT HAPPEN

25. Strengthening the Central Advisory Board of Education
26. Financing: Affordable and Quality Education for All
27. Implementation
Abbreviations used in NEP 2020
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