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A hybrid system on the anvil for training teachers in higher education field: UGC chairman

The University Grants Commission is working on a hybrid system of training in online and offline mode for 15 lakh teachers in higher education and preparing them for higher education that is changing after implementation of the new education policy, said UGC and AICTE President M. Jagadesh Kumar here on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Nitte (considered university) convocation, Mr Kumar said it was proposed to partially train teachers online through the Indian Digital University, which will start from July 2023. About 100 centers had been identified for 15 days of physical training.

The UGC, he said, has set up a committee composed of representatives of the Ministry of Education, the AICTE, the UGC and other stakeholders to work out the modalities of the training and also select the training centers.

Experts from IITs and IIMs will be recruited for the training. “Introducing new courses and programs and training teachers will go hand in hand,” he said.

In terms of research grants, Mr. Kumar said there was a lot of competition from universities for research grants from UGC, the Department of Science and Technology, CSIR and other agencies. The UGC has asked universities to set up research and development cells that will bring in an ecosystem of research and also contact funding agencies for funds.

The UGC, he said, is working on the draft law of the Higher Education Council of India (HECI). The HECI will consist of four vertical lines: the National Higher Education Regulatory Council, National Accreditation Council, National Research Foundation. “We met with each category of vice chancellors and explained to them what is coming. We are mentally preparing them,” he said. The UGC and AICTE are trying to synchronize all regulations to make the process easier for stakeholders.

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A lot of flexibility, he said, is being brought to multidisciplinary research in technical education, general education and skills education. The UGC is working on the implementation of a previous learning recognition, whereby professionals are awarded previous work experience and s/he is eligible for the second year of training.

With the four-year honors programme, which is being introduced by some universities as part of NEP, these graduates are directly eligible for PhD trajectories. “This will bring a lot of creative and innovative young people into the research field,” he said.

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