IDP: First step towards implementation of NEP-2020

IDP is a documentary framework through which higher educational institutions can develop their own indicators, fix their achievable targets, prioritise their actions, assess their financial needs and overcome their constraints towards implementation of NEP-2020
IDP: First step towards implementation of NEP-2020
"IDP lays down the roadmap for implementation of various provisions of NEP-2020 in a time-bound manner outlining the needs, constraints, targets and timelines for a particular HEI."Special arrangement

It has been almost two years since National Education Policy 2020 (NEP-2020) was launched by the Govt. of India on July 29, 2020, outlining the renewed vision of India’s new education system and strengthening its five pillars of Affordability, Accessibility, Quality, Equity and Accountability.

Innumerable seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences have since been held all across India with a view to fully understand the provisions, goals and objectives of the new policy.

Now it is time for all higher education institutions (HEIs) across India to devise their strategic action plan for the implementation of the policy in letter and spirit. Formulation of Institutional Development Plan (IDP) is one of the first steps towards practical implementation of this policy that has been necessitated for all HEIs in the policy document itself.

IDP lays down the roadmap for implementation of various provisions of NEP-2020 in a time-bound manner outlining the needs, constraints, targets and timelines for a particular HEI.

IDP seeks to identify achievable targets of a HEI in terms of curricular reforms, infrastructural development, pedagogical innovation, augmentation of human resource, administrative reforms, effective institutional governance, evaluation and examination reforms, research innovation, skill development, community outreach programmes, student exchange programmes, stakeholder involvement, partnering with skill hubs, industry-academia interaction, innovation and start-up incubation, promotion of open learning and workflow automation.

While NEP-2020 remains same for all HEIs, IDPS will be customised to their individual needs and specific requirements based on their existing status and future goals.

For optimum results a bottom-up approach is suggested for the compilation of IDPs in consultation with various departments, centres and schools of a university or a college.

Individual departments can furnish the requisite information on a prescribed format covering all aspects of NEP-2020 after convening their departmental committee meetings, that in turn can be used to consolidate and finalise an IDP for the whole university or college.

Bottom-up approach is preferred because faculty of a particular department is the best judge of its needs, aspirations and future programmes. Therefore, brainstorming at the departmental level can be followed by discussions at the level of schools under the stewardship of deans and subsequently by final deliberations at the central level under the chairmanship of institutional heads in order to arrive at the final IDPs.

Viewpoints of scholars, students and administrative staff too need to be factored in while projecting departmental needs for preparing IDPs, based on which they can develop initiatives and monitor their progress in achieving the goals set therein.

This way most essential and pressing needs and demands of each department and centre could be duly addressed in the IDPs making it inclusive and all-encompassing in nature ensuring wider participation of all stakeholders of the HEI.

This way IDPs can be used to suitably assess their human resource requirements such as faculty shortages, ICT related technology requirements, physical infrastructure for teaching-learning, continuous professional development, student support as well as to address the issues related to contractual teachers, tenure track and guest faculty, promotion besides facilitating lateral transfer of HEIs from autonomous to teaching to research universities.

The IDP has to be initially prepared for a period of five years and shall also contain a description of measures for sustainability beyond this period. Therefore, the goals need to be categorised as short, mid- and long-term goals.

The IDP is sought to be a living document, evolving as the strategic planning capacity of the institution increases and shall become the basis for further public funding as evidenced from the policy statements. Various steps involved in developing IDPs are as under:

-Clearly define the vision and mission of the department/centre/school.

-In light of their vision and mission, carry out a needs assessment based on wide consultations with all its faculty members to identify the goals, priorities and commitments of the department/centre/school.

-Quantify the department’s goals using tailored indicators and time-bound targets on the basis of short, mid and long-term goals.

-Based on their goals and priorities identify capacity (human, infrastructural and financial capacity and needs) and organisational gaps and steps to bridge these gaps.

-Develop annual activity plans that result, sequentially, in achieving the goals of the department/centre/school. These activity plans will also serve as a tool for monitoring the implementation of the IDP (Ref.NEP-2020).

IDPs will describe the department’s vision and expectations for its future, embodying where the department wants to be in consonance with the provisions of National Education Policy-2020 over the next one, three, five and ten years.

One of the first steps towards developing IDPs includes conducting “Needs Assessment” of the department/centre/school concerned that mainly includes financial assessment of some of the goals enumerated above.

Apart from conducting “Needs Assessment” every department/centre/school has to conduct “Constraints Assessment” for achieving their goals besides conducting their “Gap Analysis” and “SWOC analysis” that includes an assessment of their individual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.

In the light of NEP-2020 the departments/centres/schools of colleges and universities can strategize their actions for arriving at a comprehensive and robust framework in the form of IDPs in order to ensure that they have the necessary state-of-art academic infrastructure, including technology-enabled learning ecosystem that is required for effective execution of teaching-learning activities and other objectives of NEP.

Accordingly, all departments/centres/schools need to furnish details about their goals, targets, indicators and plans for the accomplishment of following:

Multidisciplinary Educational Research University (MERU)

-Contribution towards increasing the GER to 50% by 2035

-Transformation into research intensive university

-Instituting Academic Credit Bank

-Offering 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s and/or integrated Master’s degree programmes

-Establishing start-up/innovation incubation centre

-Provide exposure to vocational education

-Establishing smart classrooms and fully automated libraries

-Providing residential/hostel facilities to staff and students

-Internationalisation (attracting foreign students) of education

As such, all departments/centres/schools of a university or a college need to take following necessary measures for evolving their departmental IDPs:

-Carry out a situation analysis to identify gaps, barriers, prospects, challenges of the department/centre/school at present.

-Clearly stipulate short, mid and long-term goals to be achieved over the next one, three and five years respectively.

-Draw and define a roadmap for action during the next one, three and five years by prioritizing areas and fixing definite timelines for accomplishment of various goals and targets.

-Identify areas, devise plans and formulate blueprints for human resources development

-Identify areas and formulate blueprints for curriculum development

-Chalk out a plan of action for institutional capacity building and infrastructure development over the next 5 to 10 years.

-Devise objectives, plans and timelines for attainment of goals towards creating state-of-art facilities.

-Assign roles and responsibilities to faculty members and stakeholders.

-Monitor progress and evaluate actions at the end of each year.

-Revise the action plan based on the results and feedback obtained.

-Focus of each department/centre/school has to be on following key objectives while preparing their IDPs:

-Revisiting its vision and mission statements in tune with NEP20.

-Re-examining and rethinking its future goals, objectives and plans of action.

-Redesigning and remodelling its course curriculum in consonance with various provisions of NEP-2020.

-Re-assessing its academic and research infrastructure needs.

-Restructuring and re-orienting its human resource.

-Revamping the organisational structure in tune with NEP-2020.

-Reviving and re-energising its faculty improvement programmes and student welfare measures and practices.

-Refurbishing its student and teacher amenities and other facilities.

-Re-aligning and repositioning its march towards growth, progress and development.

-Contributing towards redeeming and restoring our glorious past in education.

Once strategic Institutional Development Plans are formulated and submitted by the HEIs to the higher education department and UGC, it will become easier for them to secure substantial financial support and execute the same in a time bound manner.

Since public funding to HEIs has been made subservient to the submission of IDPs there is no choice for HEIs but to prepare and submit the same as early as possible. Nevertheless, once submitted IDPs will not be full and final for all times to come.

They can be periodically reviewed, revised and resubmitted in tune with continually evolving needs and emerging challenges of the HEIs. However, it is important to take lead and initiate the process of their compilation in compliance with guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission for their preparation. It goes without saying that IDP is the key towards successful implementation of NEP-2020 by HEIs.

(With inputs from NEP-2020 document.)

The author teaches at the Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences and holds the additional charge of Director, CCPC, University of Kashmir)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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