Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI) Vice Chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar shared her views and suggestions in a National Webinar on “Implementation Strategies for National Education Policy-2020: Recommendations on Access and Equity in Higher Education” organised by Association of Indian Universities(AIU) on 15th April,2021. Ms. Sunita Sanghi, Principal Adviser, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India, Prof. Thamarai Selvi Somasundaram, VC, Thiruvallavur University, Vellore, Prof. Rajita Kulkarni, President, Sri Sri University, Prof. Rajani Gupte, VC, Symbiosis International University, Prof. Sujata Shahi, VC, IILM University were some of the other speakers in the program.Prof. Akhtar said that it is not hidden from anyone that despite the educational expansion achieved by the previous educational policies, we have not been able to create a fairer society.
The National Education Policy-2020 is a remarkable step in the direction of creating an equal and just society as it sees the access of all Indians to an equitable, skillful, holistic and multidisciplinary education as the most powerful lever for bringing a social revolution in the country. She later on presented some of her views on implementing the NEP-2020 for achieving the policy’s vision of access and equity in education.
Prof. Akhtar said there are two important aspects of equitable access in education—fairness, and inclusion. Fairness requires that factors such as socio-economic status, gender, linguistic background, caste, or religion should not be an obstacle for realizing one’s educational potential. Inclusion ensures that everybody who comes for education should be able to attain a basic minimum standard of learning, and should not be discriminated against by the system in any way.Prof. Akhtar further said that in order to ensure full access and equity, the NEP-2020 proposes to establish and develop more higher education institutions (HEIs) and increase the GER to fifty percent by 2035. She gave a number of suggestions to achieve the target.