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National Council of Educational Research and Training

Context:

The 63rd Foundation Day of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) was recently observed in New Delhi, accompanied by the notable achievement of NCERT being granted the esteemed Deemed-to-be-University status.

Relevance:

GS II: Regulatory Bodies

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About NCERT
  2. Deemed Universities

About NCERT

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is an autonomous organization founded in 1961 under the Societies Registration Act. It serves as the highest authority for providing advice to both central and state governments regarding school education. NCERT is involved in a range of activities and initiatives:

  • Educational Research and Innovation: NCERT conducts research and promotes innovative educational approaches.
  • Curriculum Development: It plays a pivotal role in developing and revising educational curricula.
  • Textbook and Material Development: NCERT is responsible for creating textbooks and various teaching and learning materials.
  • Teacher Education: The organization is engaged in the professional development of teachers.
  • Educational Evaluation: It is involved in educational evaluation and assessment.
  • International Cooperation: NCERT collaborates with international partners on educational matters.

National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs) under NEP 2020: According to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, NCERT is the designated agency for formulating National Curriculum Frameworks (NCFs) for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), School Education, and Adult Education.

Deemed Universities

A deemed university is a higher education institution acknowledged by the University Grants Commission (UGC) through Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956. Unlike universities established or incorporated by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature, deemed universities obtain their university status from the central government, based on UGC recommendations. Deemed universities have significant academic autonomy, allowing them to:

  • Curriculum Independence: They can create their own courses, syllabi, and admission criteria.
  • Financial Autonomy: Deemed universities can establish their own fee structures and handle faculty recruitment and examination systems.
De Novo Category:

The NCERT has achieved deemed university status under the ‘de novo’ category, signifying recognition for excellence in a new or emerging field of knowledge. De novo institutions focus on innovations in teaching and research in emerging areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and space science.

Benefits of Deemed University Status:
  • Course Innovation: Deemed universities can introduce new courses and programs that align with evolving educational needs without external approvals.
  • Collaborations: They can engage in collaborations with national and international educational institutions for academic exchange, research projects, faculty development, and student mobility.
  • Diversity and Funding: Deemed universities can attract a more diverse student and faculty base and secure additional funding from various sources.
  • NEP 2020 Implementation: They can actively participate in the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which envisions a transformation of the Indian school education system.

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