The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 on July 29, 2020. This policy replaced the 34 year old National Policy on Education (NPE),1986.
The first National Education Policy was announced by the Government of India by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, based on the Kothari Commission report, in 1968, which called for a “radical restructuring” and proposed equal educational opportunities in order to achieve national integration and greater cultural and economic development.
The second National Education Policy was promulgated in 1986 by the government led by Rajiv Gandhi. The new policy called for “special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalise educational opportunity,” especially for Indian women, Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Scheduled Caste (SC) communities. This policy was modified by P V Narasimha Rao in 1992.
In 2002, through the Eighty Sixth Constitutional Amendment Act 2002, Right to Education was inserted as Article 21 A (Fundamental Rights) in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education to children of age six to fourteen.
In 2015, then education minister Smriti Irany appointed a committee under the chairmanship of TSR Subramanian to give a new education policy, which submitted its report in May, 2016. The objectives of the commission were:
- Improve the quality of education
- credibility of education
- address the gaps in implementation.
The central government junked this committee and appointed a new nine member committee under the chairmanship of Dr. K. Kasthurirangan. The committee submitted the draft of National Education Policy in 2019 and approved by the Government of India in 29 July 2020.
The new policy aims to bring transformational reforms in school and higher education
Most Important changes
- Ministry of Human Resource Development renamed as “Ministry of Education”
- Increase GDP investment in Education to 6% from 1.6%
- Gross enrollment ratio will be increased to 50% by 2035
- the existing 10+2 system will be replaced by 5+3+3+4 system.
- Imparting formal education as per Global standards
- Students to learn coding from class 6
- Mother tongue will be the medium of instruction till class 5
- 360° Progress Card – report card will be comprehensive based on skill & capabilities
Holistic Undergraduate Programme
Single regulator for higher education (excluding medical & legal)
MPhil to be discontinued
Flexibility of subjects
Public investment in Education to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.
- According to the All India Survey on Higher Education, the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education in India has increased from 20.8% in 2011-12 to 25.8% in 2017-18. The Committee identified lack of access as a major reason behind low intake of higher education in the country. It aims to increase GER to 50% by 2035 from the current level of about 25.8%
- The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification. UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
- Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits
- Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
- The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
- Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI to have four independent verticals – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
- Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges. Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
- NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups
- New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and higher education. National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit , Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up