Context :

Recently, the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 has been approved by the Union Cabinet. Its major aim is to introduce changes in the Indian education system right from the school to the college level of education.

Major highlights : 

  • Making “India a global knowledge superpower” is the ultimate objective of the NEP 2020.
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development is renamed as the Ministry of Education.
  • It is the third major change in the education systems in India since independence in 1947.
  • 1968 and 1986 have seen the earlier two revamps in the education systems prior to NEP 2020.

Key Points :

School Education:

  • Pre-school to secondary level education has been universalized with 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) by the year 2030.
  • This will assist in bringing approx 2 crore children which are currently out of school, back into the mainstream.
  • The current education system of 10+2 will be replaced by a new & revamped 5+3+3+4 structure which corresponds to the age group 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
  • In the current scenario, the age group of 3-6 years is not covered in formal schooling, this will helps in bringing those age groups under the school curriculum. This age group is globally recognized as a crucial stage for the development of the mental ability of a child.
  • This system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi / pre-schooling.
  • Board examinations of class 10th & 12th will be made easier & will be focussed more on core competencies rather than memorized facts & rote learning. All students will be allowed to take these exams twice.
  • A new accreditation framework will be set up along with an independent authority to regulate public and private schools.
  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be more focussed.
  • There will not be any rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular activities & vocational streams in schools.
  • A provision of Vocational education with internship from Class 6th.
  • Mother tongue/regional language will be used for teaching up to class 5th & no language will be rigidly imposed on any students.
  • A 'National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE)'  will be programmed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with NCERT.
  • A 4-years integrated B.Ed. degree course will be the minimum degree qualification for teaching by 2030.

 Higher Education:

  • A target of 50% Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education by 2035 which is currently at 26.3%.
  • 3.5 crore seats will be added in higher education.
  • Undergraduate courses will be imparted with a flexible curriculum of 3 or 4 years duration with multiple exit options and with certification at different levels.
  • All the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, and Ph.D. levels will be made interdisciplinary.
  • M.phil. courses will be discontinued.
  • 'Academic Bank of Credits' will be established which will facilitate Credit transfers.
  • 'Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs)' will be established at par with IITs, IIMs as per the matching global standards.
  • An apex body for fostering strong research culture namely 'The National Research Foundation' will be established which will serve the purpose of creating a strong research culture and building research capacity in higher education.
  • 'Higher Education Commission of India’ (HECI)' will be established for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Both the public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms 
  • HECI will have four independent verticals i.e. :

1) National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) to look after the regulatory framework.

2) General Education Council (GEC) to look after standard settings.

3) Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) to look after funding.

4) National Accreditation Council (NAC) to look after accreditation.

  • The affiliation system of colleges will be wiped out in 15 years and a mechanism to be implemented for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
  • In near future, every college is expected to develop as an autonomous degree-granting College or a constituent college of a university.

Education System In India :

  • Part IV, Article 45 and 39 (f) of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) of the Indian Constitution, has a provision for state-funded & an equitable and accessible education to all.
  • Education has been moved from the state list to the Concurrent List by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976.
  • The 86th Constitutional Amendment in 2002 made education an enforceable right under Article 21-A of the Fundamental Rights.
  • Right To Education (RTE), 2009 is enacted to provide primary education to all children in the age group 6 to 14 years.
  • This act also mandates a 25% reservation for the disadvantaged sections of the society in Government Initiatives such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Scheme, Navodaya Vidyalayas, Kendriya Vidyalayas.

Pros :

  • NEP 2020 has changed the structure from 10+2 to 5+3+3+4. It will include kindergarten of 3 years in formal schooling thus increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio.
  • Now, we can choose any subject from any academic streams as per the interest.
  • Multiple exit options will provide enough flexibility to students to learn & work together with varying certification options at different levels.
  • The importance of board exams is made less important thus reducing pressure on students reducing exam phobia.
  • Now 6% of GDP will be used as a fund for the policy showing the importance of education.
  • NEP 2020 will promote our Indian ethnic culture & hence unity in diversity will be promoted.
  • Vocational learning will help students to be job-ready & more skill-oriented from their early ages.
  • Higher education & standards of colleges will improve through a common HECI.

Cons :

  • Regional and local languages will be promoted but somehow, English will take a back seat.
  • English is the language of the world, Indian local & regional languages will not help that much at International level.
  • Imposing English in class 6th onwards will not give proper confidence & command in the English language to students.
  • Implementing so many regional or local languages in different states will be difficult to assess whether they all are on the same platform or syllabus.
  • English is recognized as a global language to communicate & in the IT industry and this is the reason we are booming in other countries than Chinese people. 

Way Forward :

There are always a few merits & demerits in all the systems. Only thing is that we need to constantly improve the system based on its various outcomes. NEP 2020 is aimed at improving the culture & integrity of the country along with the blend of modernity in the education system & should be considered as the welcome step of the government.

MCQs :

  1. Under which article of the Indian Constitution, education has been made enforceable right?

Option : a) Article 21

              b) Article 21A

              c) Article 22

              d) Article 22A

Answer: Option: b

  1. What is the targeted Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education by the NEP2020?

Option : a) 80%

              b) 75%

              c)  50%

              d)  40%

Answer: Option: c


Critically analyze the importance of the New Education Policy 2020 with respect to the current education policy implemented in 1986.

  1. Discuss various efforts done by the Union Governments in improving the Gross Enrolment Ratio in Schools & higher education since independence.

Happy Studies!

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