New Initiatives power BHU's Advances towards realizing objectives of NEP

New Initiatives power BHU's Advances towards realizing objectives of NEP

Conceptualized and realized by the visionary educationist, freedom fighter, and social reformer Bharat Ratna Mahamana Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya ji, the Banaras Hindu University has in its core the values and objectives with which the National Education Policy 2020 today aims to revolutionize and transform India’s education sector. Such was the vision of Mahamana, who could foresee the needs of upcoming generations and founded an institution like Banaras Hindu University with a futuristic approach and perception.

The National Education Policy 2020 endeavors to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower through broad-based, flexible, multidisciplinary education, which is suited to the needs of 21st-century world. It focuses on bringing out the unique capabilities of each student. As the National Education Policy 2020 completes three years of its coming into effect, Banaras Hindu University has been successfully able to achieve a number of milestones with regard to its implementation. The advances made by the varsity are powered by new Learner Centric Initiatives brought in by the dynamic leadership of the university, in accordance with the new policy.

Addressing a press conference as part of various programs being organized on the occasion of three years of NEP2020, Rector, Prof. V. K. Shukla said that university was swift in constituting an implementation committee in this regard. He informed that the committee was reconstituted in 2023 by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain to ensure a smooth and expeditious process of implementation.

Registrar Prof. Arun Kumar Singh said that the varsity has regulated the Academic Bank of Credit as envisaged by the NEP. “We have been successful in ensuring an encouraging number of students getting registered on ABC portal. The total Registration on ABC Portal for Session 2021-22 is 14900 and 15722 for 2022-23”, added Prof. Singh. The newly admitted students are mandatorily advised to mention ABC at the time of filling of online enrolment form/ examination’s the university’s portal, added the Registrar.

Prof. Mukul Raj Mehta, Department of Philosophy, and the senior most member of the NEP implementation committee, listed the steps taken by the university in this regard. He said BHU has chalked out a well-planned strategy to put in place various reformative measures as part of NEP. He informed that the university is at the verge of completing all the structural modalities required to implement the Four Year UG or Integrated Degree programs. “Transitioning from a three year degree format into a four year system, requires marathon exercises, especially in an institution like BHU, which offers a diverse range of disciplines. Multiple committees at various levels, be it Institute, Faculty or Department, have looked into the challenges, needs and changes,” said Prof. Mehta. We are hopeful that we shall be ready to implement the four year program from the next academic session i.e. 2024-25, he informed. The Multi-level entry and exit is already implemented in some of the vocational programs.

Transforming Single Stream HEIs into a Multidisciplinary Institution: BHU, since its inception has been a multidisciplinary institution. In fact it is a model institution and is setting example for others, by offering learning and research into a wide range of disciplines in the confines of one single campus. So, we have always been a multidisciplinary institution. Now with the NEP being in place, we are putting in place mechanisms to facilitate cross discipline interactions and research. We have launched a new initiative named Trans-disciplinary Research Promotion Scheme which offers exciting funding opportunities. The University has also initiated 9 Post Graduate and 2 Diploma courses in multidisciplinary subjects namely Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security, Archival Studies and Management, Oceanography, Structural and Chemical Biology, Industrial Chemistry, Instrumentation Techniques and Application, Agricultural Journalism, Urban & Regional Studies, Gender Studies, Acute Stroke Care and Wild Life & Health Management. The university is also conducting 457 programs on SWAYAM and NPTEL.

Internationalization of Education: BHU is leading by example in terms of measures taken in this regard. Internationalization of education has primarily two components-

1.      Increased enrolment of international students and

2.      More and better opportunities for own students and faculty members in global institutions

Banaras Hindu University has come up with several game changer initiatives on this front. We are offering Scholarships to all the international students getting enrolled in BHU. Besides, we have also made suitable adjustments in our admission cycle to attract more international students. We are delighted to note that in January this year, we registered the highest enrolment of international students in past five years. Similarly we have launched a new scheme to provide support to international research scholars who do not have any other fellowship. As per the initiative, international scholars are offered a credit incentive of Rs. 40,000. Additionally, if the research scholar is a first author in a Q1 or Q2 journal, a further credit of Rs. 30,000 will be provided. The scheme will also offer financial support of Rs. 8,000 per month to the international Ph.D. students at BHU, who don’t have any other fellowship.

Secondly, we have also started a new scheme named “International Student Visiting Program” to provide some of the outstanding research scholars of the university an opportunity to conduct their research work in a reputed global institution outside India for a semester. As per the scheme we will fund the to and fro travel of the scholar to the host country, visa fee, insurance, a fellowship of USD 1800 for a semester during the stay and an additional USD 600 for attending workshops/conferences in that country. Besides, we have also started schemes where we are facilitating and funding international guest/expert faculty at the invitation of BHU’s faculty members. This is aimed at enhancing international exchange and interaction between BHU’s members and those from global institutions. There is another new scheme to partially fund International Travel Support. The scheme will fund a significant part of international travels of postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. scholars and regular faculty members, for participation in overseas conferences, workshops, short training programs and academic meetings.

International Tie-Ups: We have set up a dedicated international collaborations unit which is reaching out to global institutions for possible engagements. In the past few months delegations from several international institutions have visited BHU and had interactions with our students and meetings with the university’s leadership. Some of these include Taiwan University, Tokyo University, Buffalo University, delegation form Denmark. Currently BHU has active MoU with at least 15 international institutions. These include Tokyo University, Japan, Seoul National University, South Korea, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, University of Surry, United Kingdom, University of Bucharest, Romania, University of Kyoto, Japan, Karlstad University, Sweden, Georgia University, United States and others.

Industry-Institute Collaboration: BHU has been proactively putting in efforts to engage industry and collaborate with corporate entities for a mutually beneficial bond. The DST SAATHI facility at CDC and the Atal Incubation Centre are the finest examples of how industry and academia can join hands and take benefit from each other’s expertise. We are soon having a state-of-the-art Gem Testing facility in BHU which is expected to be a shining example of industry-institute collaboration. Very recently we have had an understanding with a leading Japanese retail group, UNIQLO - Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., the world’s third largest apparel giant. As per the understanding three of our students got to visit Japan under the Global Management program. One of our students also got placed in the company as a result of the MoU, with a very handsome package.

Establishment of Research & Development Cell: Banaras Hindu University has set up Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy Cell – SRICC, to enhance its research productivity through sponsored projects and industrial consultancy. This has been made effective in alignment of the NEP’s objectives. The SRICC will be a single window system for end-to-end management of the entire life-cycle of all Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy projects. It will facilitate the development and submission of project proposals, hassle-free administration of projects, and networking with funding agencies.

Alumni Connect: BHU has a large alumni base which is one of the university’s biggest strengths. We have been able to reenergize and channelize BHU’s bond with its alumni. We have reworked the mechanism through which we establish our connect with alumni and they keep in touch with their alma mater. BHU’s new and dynamic alumni portal facilitates a smooth interaction with its former students. We have been able to institutionalize the data of thousands and thousands of our alumni in a better and professional way. The university’s efforts to reconnect with its well-wishers has also brought encouraging results and the university in a span of less than two years has been able to generate endowments of over five crores. The university is instituting over 50 new scholarships and has set up several funds for enhancing research and teaching, faculty development and student welfare.

Other Key Highlights: Focus on skill development – Launched Skill Development and Life Skills initiatives. Funding of sporting activities to ensure greater participation of student have been enhanced to unprecedented levels. Indian knowledge system – M.A. in Hindu Studies has been started. The university has entered into understandings with institutions to promote quality education and research in Indian Knowledge Systems.  CUET – Undergraduate and Postgraduate, all set to join CUET for PH.D. admissions. BHU has a university level placement cell. Besides, placement units have also been created in Institutes and Faculties.