The Department of Sociology has organized an invited lecture on the National Education Policy on 23rd January 2024. Prof. Jandhyala Bala Gangadhar  Tilak  (JBJ Tilak), one of the eminent scholars on education policy and practices, spoke on various issues and challenges in higher education and NEP-2020 in India. The talk was chaired by Prof. Nagaraju Gundemeda, Head of the Department of Sociology, who introduced the speaker. Prof. Tilak, the former professor of education policy at NIEPA-New Delhi, delivered the lecture titled Reforming Higher Education and National Education Policy 2020. He covered a wide range of issues. He highlighted the contribution of the Indian Higher education system as a mediator of modernity and an agent of nation-building. He emphasized the role of higher education in the institutionalization of democracy. He emphasized the role of Indian higher education in training public intellectuals, scientists, and doctors. Those scientists trained in India have contributed immensely to the successful ISRO missions. In the second part of the talk, he focused on the NEP 2020. He highlighted the defining features of NEP, such as education as a public good, not-for-profit, quality education, and recruitment of permanent teachers. He added that, despite higher educational achievements, it has several limitations. Despite 75 years since our independence, not even a single university has reached the top rankings in the world.

Prof. Tilak discussed the structural limitations of multiple entries and exits, leading to higher dropouts. He highlighted the dangers of equating knowledge with skills and the need for adequate funding to implement the goals of NEP. He advocated for a national scholarship fund to ensure free and quality education for all students.  He claimed that though the policy document claims the importance of digital technology, it fails to guarantee the teacher-student emotional bond of interaction. He also talked about the lack of access to quality education to all sections of the society. He argued that even today, the quality of higher education is beyond the reach of several students, especially from the BPL category.

Prof. Nagaraju Gundemeda, Head of Department of Sociology, coordinated the talk. Dr. Devesh Nigam, Registrar; Prof. Ramamurthy & Prof. K.Laxminarayana of the School of Economics; Prof. Bankya Bukya, & Prof. Sujith, Department of History; and Dr. Nagalakshmi, Department of Sociology have attended the lecture. Several students from the School of Social Sciences also participated in the talk, which was held from 4 pm to 7 pm, starting with the talk delivered by Prof. B J Tilak, followed by an extensive discussion session. The talk was concluded with Prof. Nagaraju thanked Prof. B J Tilak for the insightful session. Prof. Nagaraju also extended his gratitude towards Prof Jyotirmay Sharma, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, for his constant support and the office staff members of the Department of Sociology.