Shimla – Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) has encountered a significant obstacle in its efforts to implement the New National Education Policy (NEP) in its affiliated colleges this year. Despite thorough preparations by HPU’s coordinating committee, the necessary government approval was not granted, leading to a postponement that will see undergraduate and postgraduate students falling a year behind their peers in other states.

The NEP aims to revolutionize higher education by introducing a semester system in place of the traditional annual system from the first year. It offers students the flexibility of a multiple entry and exit plan, ensuring that their academic progress is recognized even if they need to pause their studies. The policy also includes a provision for awarding diplomas, certificates, and degrees at various stages of a student’s academic journey, minimizing the wastage of time and effort in case of interruptions.

Another key component of the NEP is the dual degree system, allowing students to earn two degrees simultaneously over four years of study. Additionally, the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) system was set to be introduced, where students’ academic records would be stored digitally in a DigiLocker, providing seamless access and transferability across institutions.

However, with the lack of approval this year, all these progressive changes remain on hold. Students will now have to wait until next year to benefit from these innovative educational reforms.

Adding to the complexity, HPU recently received a grant of Rs. 100 crores from the central government under the MERU Project, which was partly based on the implementation of the NEP. This grant was intended to support the roll-out of the new education policy across colleges in Himachal Pradesh. With the delay, this allocated budget will not be utilized for the NEP this year, potentially impacting the university’s financial planning and resource allocation.

The deferral of the NEP’s implementation at HPU underscores the challenges of educational reform and highlights the need for timely government approvals to keep pace with the evolving educational landscape.