NEW DELHI, JULY 29 | The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) and renamed the HRD Ministry as the Education Ministry.
Making the announcement, Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said there would be a single regulator for all higher education institutions and MPhil would be discontinued.
In a bid to ramp up digital learning, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed,” Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said.
A panel led by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan had submitted the draft of the new education policy to Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ when he took charge last year.
The New Education Policy aims to reconstruct all the aspects of Indian education structure, to regulate and govern, to create a new system that is aligned with the aspirational goals of 21st century education, while remaining consistent with India’s traditions and value systems.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also welcomed the New Education Policy 2020, which he called “a long due and much awaited reform in the education sector”. The prime minister also said that the new policy “will transform millions of lives in the times to come!”
The national education policy 2020 envisions an India centred education system that contributes directly to transforming a nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all.
National Education Policy 2020 – Highlights that you need to know
School System to be changed into three stages
The draft National Education Policy 2020 had made several suggestions. One of them was to change the school education system to 5+3+3+4 format. This means the first five years of the school will comprise the foundation stage including three years of pre-primary school and classes 1 and class 2. The next three years will be divided into a preparatory stage from classes 3 to 5. Later three years of middle stage (classes 6 to 8), and four years of secondary stage (classes 9 to 12).
Coding from class 6, no divide in streams
Mathematical thinking, scientific temper to be part of course. Co-curriculum subjects like sports, vocational, arts, commerce, science, everything will be at the same level. Students can opt for courses as per choice. Students to be allowed to take up coding from class 6.
Board Exam Pattern needs change
Board exams to undergo a huge change. Like mathematics for CBSE, all courses to be offered in two languages. The board exams across states to test knowledge application and not rote learning. For each subject to test objective and descriptive exam
Report card to have assessment by teacher, peers
Life skills to be taught every year. Report card to have reviewed from teachers, peers, and students as well. Review assessment of performance. AI-based assessment of each year to be given to the student.
Single common entrance exam for all colleges
The common Entrance exam for all higher education institutes to be held by NTA. The exam will be optional and not mandatory. Like the current ongoing structure, JEE Main and JEE Advanced is the single engineering entrance exam in the country for providing admissions into various NITs and IITs and NEET, only entrance exam for providing admissions to MBBS and Dental seats across the nation.
UG colleges to be more autonomous
Undergrad autonomy, academic, administrative, and financial autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation. India has over 45,000 affiliated colleges
All institutes to be research institutes
By 2040, all higher education institutions (HEIs) shall aim to become multidisciplinary institutions, each of which will aim to have 3,000 or more students.
Music , arts and literature to be taught in all colleges
Departments in Languages, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Indology, Art, Dance, Theatre, Education, Mathematics, Statistics, Pure and Applied Sciences, Sociology, Economics, Sports, Translation and Interpretation, etc. will be established and strengthened at all higher education institutes.
IITs asked to take holistic approach
Even engineering institutions, such as IITs, will move towards more holistic and multidisciplinary education with more arts and humanities. Students of arts and humanities will aim to learn more science and all will make an effort to incorporate more vocational subjects and soft skills.
Foreign universities to set-up campuses in India
Under the NEP the world’s top 100 foreign universities will be “facilitated” to operate in India through a new law. According to the HRD Ministry document, listing salient features of policy, “such (foreign) universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.”
NEP to follow three-language formula, Sanskrit to be mainstreamed
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. Sanskrit Universities too will move towards becoming large multidisciplinary institutions of higher learning.
By 2030, one large multidisciplinary college in every district
By 2040, all higher education institutions (HEIs) shall aim to become multidisciplinary institutions, each of which will aim to have 3,000 or more students. There shall, by 2030, be at least one large multidisciplinary HEI in or near every district. The aim will be to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.
Higher education institutes to be divided into further categories
Research-intensive Universities. Those that place greater emphasis on teaching but still conduct significant research i.e. Teaching-intensive Universities. Autonomous degree-granting College (AC) will refer to a large multidisciplinary that grants undergraduate degrees and is primarily focused on undergraduate teaching though it would not be restricted to that.
Multiple exit options in degrees
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 programme. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s programme, however, shall be the preferred option and will give degree with research if a student has pursued a project along with it.
Changes in the current curriculum
Imaginative and flexible curricular structures will enable creative combinations of disciplines for study, and would offer multiple entry and exit points. Curricula of all HEIs shall include credit-based courses and projects in the areas of community engagement and service, environmental education, and value-based education.
New Education Policy – Need of the hour
The New Education Policy (NEP) has replaced the existing National Policy on Education which was first formulated in 1986 and last modified in 1992. The NEP includes extension of Right to Education ACT 2009 to cover children of ages 3 to 18 and also seeks to reduce content load in school education curriculum.
In May 2016, ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian submitted its report. Based on this, the Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’.
In June 2017 a ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’ was constituted under the chairmanship of former ISRO scientist K Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy to the HRD Minister on May 31, 2019.
The Draft National Education Policy was uploaded on MHRD’s website and at ‘MyGov Innovate’ portal eliciting views, suggestions and comments of stakeholders, including the public.
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