The Changing Higher Education Times – “RUSA’s curriculum reform initiative”

Higher education scenario in the country has witnessed significant shifts in the past few years. With the current government spending 3.65% of the total expenditures, MHRD’s pragmatic focus has been to revamp the quality of Indian education, improving the annual gross enrollment ratio and globalizing our institutions. One such noteworthy initiative is the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA’s) curriculum reform initiative. Anchored with prestigious institutions like Tata Institute of Social Sciences, state universities from Pune, Kashmir, Mizoram, Odisha and Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia and several others, this project aims to improve knowledge, competencies and employability of our youth, as well as strengthen institutional capacities creating a sustainable platform for its implementation.

After the preliminary stages of identifying subject domain and requisite colleges both in India and in the US, RUSA conducted plentiful stakeholder meetings with vice chancellors, HoDs, and faculties from Ravi Shankar University, Vinoba Bhave University, Utkal University, Pune University and others. The idea of the whole project is to collaborate domestic and international partners who will be collectively working on reforming curriculum of higher education of state universities.

The initially process of identifying a partner university in the US and linking it to a domestic state institution has already been completed by RUSA and there are ongoing talks between both the stakeholders. This projected has been budgeted at $50 million USD, and it will be a game changer in the history of developing higher education in India. The two main deliverables of this project are to facilitate capacity building, and professional development opportunities of participating state universities, and the final curriculum reform task report from Indian and US universities on the progress over the course of the collaboration. In order to involve students and provide extra research support on this project, TISS has also initiated a summer internship program which gives them a first-hand ground experience in the policy making aspect of higher education reform. This internship has attracted students from Sciences Po, Paris, London School of Economics and several others. Started in February 2017, RUSA’s curriculum reform initiative is supposed to conclude by a year, with the involved institutions officially updating the modified curriculum for the academic year 2018-19.

                                                                                                                                                                      – Snehadeep Kayet

                                                                                                                                                                       (Intern, Curriculum Reforms)

Isha Mehta

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