Interview with Honorable Minister of Higher Education, Government of Karnataka, Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan


1. How has Karnataka implemented NEP in the state and how is it doing after almost 1 year?

Karnataka is the first state to implement the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP) as we believe it is our responsibility to provide quality higher education that enables students to compete with the world while contributing to the expansion of our economy.

Over the past year, the NEP has achieved and continues to achieve its crucial commitment goals, such as having large, well-resourced multidisciplinary institutions, research-intensive courses, autonomous degree-granting colleges , broad-based holistic UG education, flexible curricular structures. , a strong focus on equity and inclusion, strengthened governance.

Read also : Karnataka’s Higher Education transformation journey has just begun!

Moreover, I have always believed that the NEP was a step towards the expansion of the economy, especially because of the improvement and strengthening of the educational institutions and universities of the country. The NEP also enables general skills development for students, thus equipping them for more focused professional and industry-focused courses that involve more skills.

In view of the implementation of the NEP, certain important milestones must be recognized. Are, Karnataka had constituted a working group under the chairmanship of Shri SV Ranganath in March 2020 to suggest the implementation framework of the NEP, even before the NEP report was acknowledged by the Indian government on July 29 2020; in June 2020, Karnataka formed a committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Vasudev K. Aatre to draft the new Karnataka State Universities Act considering the NEP; created the Higher Education Internafionalisation Unit; and executed several external (foreign) collaborative initiatives to retrain teachers and prepare students to meet global standards.

The twinning program, in the framework of which agreements have been signed with foreign universities for double degrees, is an important element of the internationalization of education for general bachelor’s, post-graduate and engineering courses. . This is in line with the industry-oriented curriculum of the Government of Karnataka.

While being global, we are also local. Currently, 16 universities in the state offer region-specific content as part of their curriculum.

After a year of implementation of the NEP, the expected results are clearly visible to all in the academic reforms, curriculum model, collaborative skills courses, technological intervention, etc. We have always believed that successful implementation of the NEP will open up new opportunities while promoting research and development in the state and country.

2. How is Karnataka addressing post-pandemic education challenges in light of NEP 2020?

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges. However, it has also presented us with a set of new opportunities that can bring about the desired overhaul of the Indian education system. Our efforts to continue education during the COVID-19 pandemic have actually pointed us in the right direction and in the right direction.

The crisis across the country has pushed Karnataka to digitize, while ensuring inclusiveness in education. While we have faced various challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, it has also helped us focus more on improving teaching standards across the state. It is also important to recognize that the implementation of the NEP took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in addition to improving teaching standards, the state has taken a number of steps in the dissemination knowledge and the reorientation of teachers and students towards pedagogy via online platforms in the wake of UGC guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.

We understand that with the implementation of the NEP and the modernization of school and college infrastructure, teachers will also need to be skilled in modern pedagogies and teaching methodologies.

3. How does digitalization play an important role in education and what does the NEP say about it?

Digitization is undoubtedly the most important aspect of education today, especially after the pandemic, when the entire education system underwent a major overhaul. Digital learning enables quality education to all sections of society without any form of discrimination based on caste, color and religion. Through digital learning, students in remote areas will also have the opportunity to learn from experienced and highly qualified teachers.

Our decision to implement Unified University and College Management System (UUCMS) and Learning Management System (LMS) is the real transformational decision of Higher Education in Karnataka.

UUCMS will digitize the activities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), from the start of the student journey from applications to university admissions, examinations and graduation obtained within the UUCMS system.

In addition, faculty activities from the date of joining academic performance evaluation and promotion are accomplished in the system in real time. Faculty student academic activities such as lesson plans, course tracking, recording student attendance, etc. are an integral part of the UUCMS system.

The Unified Universities and Colleges Management System (UUCMS) brings together all academic functions from 23 state public universities and 3,800 affiliated colleges on a single platform. In this direction, the state government and its department of higher education have undertaken campaigns to distribute laptops and digital devices to students, especially those in rural areas. Moving forward, IT leader Karnataka is striving to bridge the digital divide.

Universities have also digitized entire processes, including admissions, fee payment, and issuance of grade sheets to eliminate the use of paper. The Learning Management System (LMS), introduced in higher education institutions, also allows teachers to monitor the learning stages of each student. It replaces summative assessment with formative assessment. Today, more than 3.5 lakes of educational content are available digitally in various subjects by multiple teachers and experts. It’s mammoth.

What is unique about our state’s digitization process is that with the introduction of e-sahamafi with Digi Locker, a student could digitally share their documents like certificates with any institution for continuing education or employment with a single signature and approval.

The state government has set a target to convert 8,500 classrooms of higher education institutions into smart classrooms, of which 4,000 have been converted into smart classrooms and the remaining 4,500 classrooms are being scanned. Furthermore, the adoption of a smart classroom system has also transformed the education system through the use of technology in education.

4. What other states can adopt the education system of Karnataka to improve their educational models?

I believe Karnataka has been the perfect model in terms of education for other states to adopt and inculcate within their education systems. We implemented the NEP last year ahead of any other state despite the many challenges thrown up by the

Covid19 pandemic. This implementation is a true example of our determination

to make our education system at the same level as any foreign country.

We also understand that skill development is another most important aspect that needs to be considered when it comes to education. Our vision is to empower

young people in the state with the right set of skills to make them job ready and employable. We also believe that with the right skills, our young people will become more competitive and ready for relevant jobs in the future.

We also believe in the education-to-industry, apprenticeship-to-employment model. To this end, the Karnataka government has invested in skills development and training of young people to prepare them for industry. For example, 35,000 students from various parts of the state have been trained in English to meet industry needs.

To implement and improve skills development within the state, we have also run these courses:

Technology-Based Skills Courses: As Karnataka is India’s IT hub, the state aims to continue leading digital transformations and contributing to a skilled workforce. The Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) has collaborated with NASSCOM to offer three courses under Memoranda of Understanding between NASSCOM and the universities: Digital Fluency for 1st year students (all non-IT disciplines), Artificial Intelligence for 2nd year students and Cyber ​​Security for 3rd year students. These three courses are designed by NASSCOM and are aligned with NSQF. Each course has two credits and a practical component

Financial Literacy Course: These aim to develop an understanding of money, its value, its collection, its management and its growth. The course has been designed and is offered to second year students in conjunction with the National Stock Exchange Academy

Industry-ready internship and apprenticeship programs are integrated into UG programs. For example, logistics is introduced in some universities. These have been included as part of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programs (FYUGP) regulations so that other universities can also launch these programs in future academic years. Starting from the 2022-23 academic year, Maharani Cluster University, Nrupathunga University and Mandya University are launching Apprenticeship Embedded UG programs in Logistics in collaboration with the Logistics Skill Council of Skill India.

We believe that by including such and many other initiatives, other states can reciprocate Karnataka’s model of education for the greater good of their youth as well as society.

Journalist’s Name: Akram Hoque, Founding Editor

Theme: NEP-focused education

About the release: First political and development media in the world, political times aims to unveil the social, economic, commercial, political and practical issues that matter to India and the world, especially the youth and women who would be required to develop a practical understanding of long-term development issues.

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Interview with Honorable Minister of Higher Education, Government of Karnataka, Dr. CN Ashwath Narayan

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Dr Ashwathnarayan CN, Minister of Higher Education, Computing and Information Technology, Science and Technology; Skills Development, Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods, Government of Karnataka.


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