National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy (NEP) has been cleared by the PM Modi cabinet and the announcement was made at 4 pm on Wednesday, by Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh ‘Nishank’ and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar.

The Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had informed earlier that the new education policy, NEP would be resolving various issues in the education sector. He also said that the new policy would help the youth take up higher education more easily.

The policy focuses on:

  • Bringing uniformity in education
  • Providing universal access to quality education
  • Improving the quality of elementary education through a new national curriculum

From School Education to Higher Education, the NEP envisions to provide a new structure to the education sector of the country. The key points from the policy have been shared by the Secretary of Higher Education and Secretary of School Education. 

Key Highlights of NEP 2020

Major Reforms in School Education
  1. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will be renamed as Ministry of Education.
  2. The new policy will focus on a multi-lingual education system which means, the teachers will teach not only in English but also in regional Indian languages.
  3. NEP 2020 aims to increase the gross enrollment ratio to 50% by 2035.
  4. MPhil will be discontinued.
  5. All courses at Under-Graduate, Post-Graduate, PhD level will be interdisciplinary. Not just courses but also universities will go multi-disciplinary. Standalone Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary education too.
  6. The fees will be fixed within the regulatory framework and no extra fee will be charged beyond the limit.
  7. Public investment in the education sector will be increased to 6% of GFP from the previous 4.43%.
  8. Govt will set-up a National Technology Forum to impart knowledge online.
  9. Indian Knowledge Systems, Languages, Culture and Values to be given focus. E-Content in Regional Languages would be developed and not only in Hindi and English.
  10. Technology would be used extensively. School would be digitally equipped.
  11. The existing 10+2 structure will be modified to 5+3+3+4 structure where the first three years would be formative play school years of Nursery and Kindergarten. This new structure would cover ages of 3 to 18 years. The 5+3+3+4 structure is as follows-
    1. Foundational State of 3 and 2 years would include Play School and Grades 1 and 2- 5 Years
    2. Preparatory Stages of Grade 3 to 5- 3 years
    3. Middle School of Grades 6 to 8- 3 years
    4. Secondary Stage of Grades 9 to 12- 4 years
  12. 4 years for higher secondary education will be changed- There will now be no rigid demarcation among arts, science and commerce, between Curricular and Extra-Curricular and between Academic Streams and Vocational Streams. Students will be able to opt for courses as per choice. Co-curriculum subjects like sports, vocational, arts, commerce, science, everything will be at the same level.
Major Reforms in Higher Education
  1. Mathematical thinking, scientific temper will be part of course. Students will now be allowed to take up coding from class 6.
  2. The NEP plans to reduce the importance of Board exams. Board exams will be split into two parts- objective and descriptive. All courses will be offered in two languages.
  3. Report cards will include assessments by teachers, peers and students as well.
  4. The common Entrance exam for all higher education institutes will be held by NTA. The exam will be optional and not mandatory.
  5. Departments in Languages, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Indology, Art, Dance, Theater, Education, Mathematics, Statistics, Pure and Applied Sciences, Sociology, Economics, Sports, Translation and Interpretation, etc. will be established and strengthened at all higher education institutes.
  6. Even engineering institutions will move towards more holistic and multidisciplinary education with more arts and humanities.
  7. Under the NEP the world’s top 100 foreign universities will be “facilitated” to operate in India through a new law.
  8. Sanskrit will be mainstreamed with strong offerings in school – including as one of the language options in the three-language formula – as well as in higher education.
  9. The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options, as informed by the Education Ministry. After completing one year, a student will get a certificate in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, a diploma if a student leaves after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year program. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s program, however, shall be the preferred option and will give degree with research if a student has pursued a project along with it.
  10. An Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established which would digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognized HEIs so that the degrees from an HEI can be awarded taking into account credits earned.
  11. All education institutions will be held to similar standards of audit and disclosure as a ‘not for profit’ entity.
  12. There will be emphasis on universal access to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) for ages 3 to 6. ECCE will also get a National mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.
  13. Vocational integration will be from Class 6 and internships will be included. Students can intern with local crafts and trades for 10 days.
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NEP 2020 will bring two crore out-of-school children back into the mainstream, the government has claimed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying he “wholeheartedly welcomed” the policy, which he called a “long due and much awaited reform in the education sector”.

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