ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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In Defence of the Affiliated College System

Affiliated colleges, as per the National Education Policy 2020, shall be integrated, merged, and consolidated into autonomous institutions or clustered universities. This new process could, nevertheless, disrupt, degrade, and downsize the existing system, engendering a huge loss in enrolment, learning outcomes, and entitlement.

The affiliated college system (ACS), a defining feature of Indian higher education, is getting slowly dismantled. This is one of the major recommendations of the new National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. Although the NEP does not contain the word “dismantle,” that precisely would be the outcome for the ACS, whether it is articulated openly or not. The NEP perceives ACS as a
laggard and blames it for throwing the entire university system out of gear (MHRD 2020). The NEP, however, is not the first policy document to identify the ACS as an impediment towards reinvigorating the university system. The National Policy on Education 1986 had singled out the ACS as a retarding factor. The ACS, according to the 1986 policy, should be replaced by a “freer and more creative association of universities with colleges” (MHRD 1986). The ACS, thereafter, had become an object of relentless attack, engendering a powerful narrative against it. The voices demanding ACS’s dismantling subsequently became louder. A few pertinent questions regarding the ACS are raised in this article: Why should we dismantle the ACS which has served us so well? Why should we not reform the ACS instead of dismantling it? It is argued that trading-off the ACS for a yet-to-be-tested system is premature.

Affiliated College System

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Updated On : 28th Aug, 2023
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