The former DU VC said the formulation of policies reflects a "leftist and socialist" mindset and there is a fascination with forming policies.
Former Delhi University vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh on Thursday questioned the idea of having an education policy and stressed that bodies like the UGC should be ‘enablers’ rather than regulators. Singh was speaking at an event organised by the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of the Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College to discuss the National Education Policy (NEP). “Whenever we discuss about higher education, there is always a mention of our ancient universities like Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramshila universities. Abroad, we talk about Harvard, Yale, MIT, Cambridge universities.
“When I delved deeper, I could not find that there was any education policy under which our ancient universities were established. I tried to find whether there was a policy under which the foreign universities abroad were formed but I could not find it. I am surprised why we are so fascinated by it”, he said. The former DU VC said the formulation of policies reflects a “leftist and socialist” mindset and there is a fascination with forming policies. Apart from God nobody knows what is going to happen and thinking about the future and framing policies without knowing about how the circumstances would be at that time is something he does not agree with, he said.
“When Dr Kasturirangan asked me for a review, I told him, “Sir, I do not agree with education policy because I do not believe in framing of policies. There are some simple things that we can adopt and they can improve the situation,” he said. Singh is a reviewer of the National Education Policy (NEP). He was at loggerheads with the government during his tenure as DU VC over the introduction of the four year undergraduate programme which was subsequently scrapped.
Interestingly, the NEP has recommended the four-year undergraduate degree programme, five years after it was scrapped. Singh hoped that the NEP will free educational institutes from regulations. “We use the word regulator for the University Grants Commission (UGC). Rather, it should be an enabler. I hope that the education policy will free us from the numerous regulations that are in place,” he said.
National Testing Agency Director General and former CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi said said it is important to engage the parents, society and government in the NEP because they are driving the career of their children. He stressed on how parents set standards of performance for their children and pressure them.
“The 12 years in school are more important to learn life skills, not only to learn content. It is the skills and life skills — how do you express yourself, how you work in a team. We should try and request the government that once the new education policy comes, the other policies should also change accordingly,” Joshi said. Dr Archana Thakur, joint secretary of the UGC, explained the policy and its vision to the students.