The two most controversial issues in Indian education in the recent past - reservation and entry of foreign education providers (FEP) - are now subjects for research for the students in National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA).
The institution declared as a university only last year by the HRD ministry has offered 12 different areas for research for a new M Phil and PhD programmes to commence from the next academic year. "Reservation and entry of FEPs are among the issues on which research would be done," confirmed NUEPA’s Vice Chancellor Professor Ved Prakash.
These issues had raised a lot of heat within and outside the government. Reservation created a furore all over the country after the 93rd amendment in Constitution was approved last year and now the government is trying to wriggle out of the Supreme Court’s stay on implementation of OBC reservation.
On FEP, the HRD ministry had faced a lot of opposition from the Commerce Ministry forcing it to water down its proposed legislation to allow foreign universities in India. Left parties have also opposed entry of FEPs in India, citing it to be disastrous for the Indian education system.
Now, NUEPA, in the country’s first research programme on education, had found the subjects lucrative for research. "The subjects have not been studies with educational perspective so far," Professor Prakash said. Participation of Scheduled Castes in higher education is just 10-13 per cent whereas that of Scheduled Tribe is just five per cent. There is no data on the number of OBC students in higher education.
This course will, however, provide opportunity to the students to study the impact of reservation in jobs and admissions and discrimination in education against the deprived and girl child in education. For FEPs, Prof Prakash said, the key area of research would be the type of foreign institutes coming into India.
The four-year programme comes with scholarship as per the UGC stipend of Rs 8,000 per month for the first two years with contingency grant of Rs 10,000 per annum. During the remaining period, the stipend would be Rs 9,000 with contingency grant of Rs 20,000 per annum. Students with minimum 55 per cent in masters can apply for the programme.
The other subjects for research are educational planning, economics of education, school education, professional education, education management information system, education administration, education policy, higher education, comparative education and education and globalisation.