“The National Education Policy-2020 aims to break down silos and create a multi disciplinary, flexible educational ecosystem that will equip learners to be not just employable but also better equipped for fast changing world” , this was stated by Principal Secretary Higher Education Department, Rohit Kansal today at Jammu. He was chairing the inaugural session of the Two-Day National Conference on NEP, at the Padma Shri Padma Sachdev, Government PG College for Women, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu.

Vice-Chancellor, SMVDU, Padma Shri RK Sinha; Vice-Chancellor, Cluster University of Jammu, Prof Bechan Lal; Special Secretary HED, Rakesh Badyal and Director Colleges and Patron, Dr Yasmeen Ashai were also present on the occasion.

Affirming that Jammu and Kashmir would be among the first in the country to fully implement the NEP, he called upon the colleges to reorient their curriculum and teaching methodolgies and be be ready to impart education in new courses which include technical, skill, language and other courses under the multidimensional approach of the NEP. He informed that the students would also now have the option of subscribing up to 40 percent of the courses through online-only mode. They would be able to study through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) under SWAYAM Platform. This sytem would do away with the disadvantages of geography being faced by far flung colleges or newly established institutions. The policy also provides for Academic Bank of Credits which would allow a student to study different courses online from colleges located anywhere in India. The credits thus earned would be stored in academic credit account in a college of choice of the student and would also reflect in his/ her final marks sheet. In this regard, institutions would have to encourage students to open Digi Locker accounts to store these credits.

The redesigned curriculum under the NEP would also enable multiple entry and exit points in courses and students would be allowed to complete the 4 year UG course in a maximum period of seven years.

Speaking on skill education and training, Rohit Kansal announced that the Jammu & Kashmir government is also providing students with an optional and voluntary Skill Curriculum to in addition to four-year undergraduate programmes. The curriculum would have (12+18) credit format, which would entail 12 academic and 18 practical course credits. Upon successful completion, the student would be provided appropriate skill certificate by the National Skills Development Council (NSDC), thereby providing an extra edge in employment opportunities to him.

For the purpose, the Principal Secretary urged colleges to identify suitable skill courses to be provided to students, and to collaborate with local industries for practical work and for tying up with NSDC for these provisions.

The Principal Secretary elucidated the Mentor, Hub and Spoke Model for fostering research and innovation in J&K. He informed that under the model, universities would provide mentorship in their respective fields of expertise while bigger colleges would serve as hub. The ‘hubs’ will provide support by lending their workshops, labs and faculty. Other colleges would be designated as ‘spokes’, the students of which would be able to use resources from their respective ‘mentor’ and ‘hub’ institutes.

Highlighting the need for continuous feedback for betterment of education system, the Principal Secretary said that a three-step feedback system has been formulated by the government. Feedback from students about the quality of learning, feedback from teachers and students about infrastructure and facilities and quarterly evaluation of faculty members by Principals- all of this would be part of the feedback system, he informed. In a couple of weeks, we would also launch ‘Feedback Portal’, wherein all the thee feedback systems would be live, he added.

The Principal Secretary assured all support for higher education, fellowship and presenting research papers abroad. He also addressed issues related to promotions and transfers of teaching staff.

Two-Day National Conference on NEP is being organised jointly by 4 colleges of Jammu namely Maulana Azad Memorial (MAM) College, Padma Shri Padma Sachdev Govt. College for Women, Gandhi Nagar, Govt. College for Women, Parade Ground and Sri Pratap Memorial Rajput (SPMR) College of Commerce, Jammu.

Principal Parade college Dr S P Sarawat presented the welcome address while Principal Women’s college Gandhinagar, Mrs Minu Mahajan presented the vote of thanks.

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