National Education Policy 2020

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National Education Policy 2020 was approved by Cabinet in July 2020. The new policy aims to pave way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country. It is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. The policy was formulated on the basis of K. Kasturirangan Committee. The policy will replace the National Education Policy 1986 (as modified in 1992).

Objective

  • To meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation and research.

Aim

  • To make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge
  • To eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.

Targets

  • Doubling of public funding to 6% of the GDP and increasing overall public expenditure on education to 20% from the current 10%.
  • Double the Gross Enrolment Ratio from 25% to 50% by 2035.
  • One large multidisciplinary college in every district by 2030.

Features

  • Renaming Ministry of Human Resource Development: It has proposed to rename MHRD as Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) as an integral part of school education is proposed.
  • 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure: It proposed a 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children:
    • Foundational Stage (age 3-8 yrs): 3 years of pre-primary plus Grades 1-2;
    • Preparatory Stage (8-11 years): Grades 3-5;
    • Middle Stage (11-14 years): Grades 6-8; and
    • Secondary Stage (14-18 years): Grades 9-12.
  • Reduce Content load:
    • It also seeks to reduce content load in school education curriculum.
    • There will be no hard separation of learning areas in terms of curricular, co-curricular or extra- curricular areas and all subjects, including arts, music, crafts, sports, yoga, community service, etc. will be curricular
  • Extending the Right To Education (RTE) Act to pre-primary education:
    • Extending the Right To Education (RTE) to cover children of ages 3 to 18 (pre-school to senior secondary level).
  • Transformation in Teacher Education:
    • It proposes for massive transformation in Teacher Education by shutting down sub-standard teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation/education programmes into large multidisciplinary universities/colleges.
    • The 4-year integrated stage-specific B.Ed. programme will eventually be the minimum degree qualification for teachers.
  • Complete Restructuring the Higher Education:
    • Reintroducing the four-year programme in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with multiple exit options and scrapping the MPhil programme.
    • For pursuing a PhD, the draft proposes, shall require either a Master’s degree or a four-year Bachelor’s degree with research.
  • Restructuring higher education institutions into three categories.
    • Type 1: focused on world-class research and high quality teaching
    • Type 2: focused on high quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research
    • Type 3: high quality teaching focused on undergraduate education.
    • This will be driven by two missions—Mission Nalanda and Mission Takshashila.
  • Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog:
    • A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions, and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and States.
  • National Research Foundation:
    • The National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
  • Higher Education Commission of India (HECI):
    • It 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.
  • Promotion of Indian and Classical Languages:
    • Promotion of Indian and Classical Languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pali, Persian and Prakrit and an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) has been recommended.
  • Three language formula
    • The draft education policy called for the proper implementation of the three-language formula (dating back to 1968) in schools across the country.
    • Accordingly, students in Hindi-speaking states should learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English.
    • In non-Hindi-speaking states, students will have to learn Hindi along with the regional language and English.
    • The reference to Hindi for non-Hindi speaking states immediately set off protests in southern states, which was seen as an effort to make Hindi mandatory. Tamil Nadu has always opposed this policy, and the new row is over the draft NEP proposing its continuation.
    • In the new revised draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019, the reference to Hindi has been removed and flexibility offered.
    • However, the revised draft retains the recommendation to introduce a three-language formula from Class 1 onwards. It simply removes the clause stipulating the specific languages that students must choose.
    • Note: The Education Policy of 1968 and 1986 both had prescribed three language formula.
  • Regarding Medical education:
    • New Medical education framework:
      • The first year or two of the MBBS course should be common for all in medical disciplines. After completion of common course, they can take up medicine (MBBS), dentistry (BDS), nursing or other specialisations.
    • Lateral entry of nursing and dental graduates into the MBBS course:
      • Graduates from other medical disciplines such as nursing, dental etc., will also be allowed lateral entry (with an entrance exam) into the MBBS course.
      • A medical education qualification framework to achieve this will be developed in conjunction with the National Medical Commission (NMC).
    • Increasing the intake of students in healthcare education:
      • The 600 or so district hospitals in the country will be upgraded to teaching hospitals at the earliest by investing in infrastructure for targeted medical specialities and in stationing adequately qualified teaching faculty.
    • Limiting the role of councils:
      • The policy envisages converting the Medical Council of India (MCI) and councils for dentistry and nursing into professional standard setting bodies that could also provide a curriculum framework, against which educational institutions will prepare their own curricula.
    • Outsourcing inspection and accreditation work to “empanelled agencies”
      • All institutions offering professional education will also be mandatorily accredited once every 5 years, by accreditation agencies empanelled by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in consultation with the professional councils.
      • Independent accreditation agencies with the necessary mandate to accredit all professional streams of education will be empaneled.
    • Common exit exam:
      • It reiterates the proposal to introduce the common exit exam for all MBBS graduates (at the end of the fourth year) , which will also serve as the entrance exam for post-graduate programmes.
    • Doing away with fee regulation:
      • Fees for professional education courses will be left to the management of educational institutions, both public and private.
    • Mandates scholarships:
      • It mandates scholarships to students from the socially and economically weaker sections of society (for 50% of students, with 20% getting full scholarship).
  • Other new Policy Initiatives:
    • Several new policy initiatives for promoting internationalization of higher education, strengthening quality open and distance learning, technology integration at all levels of education, adult and lifelong learning and initiatives to enhance participation of under-represented groups, and eliminate gender, social category and regional gaps in education outcomes are recommended.
  • Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
  • Education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity.