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An Overarching Vision For Education In India – National Education Policy 2020

Introduction

The education policy refers to programs and guidelines based on the purpose of the educational administrators, forming a plan on how to conduct learning for students. The National Education Policy (NEP) is a policy prepared by the government to foster education amongst the citizens of India. The policy envelopes elementary education to college in both urban and rural parts of India. 

To date, India has had three educational policies. The very first educational policy was implemented in the year 1986, under the guidance of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi respectively. The policy was revised in the year 1992 when P.V. Narsimha Rao was the Prime Minister. The third education policy was released on July 29, 2020, under the ministership of Narendra Modi.

The cabinet minister of India approved the National Education Policy 2020, further encouraging the upcoming transformation in the academic reforms in the educational sector of the country. Apart from this, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development will also be renamed as the Ministry of Education. The primary focus of the new education policy is to bring forward major changes in the school and the higher education system. Here’s all that you need to know about the upcoming academic reform. 

Purpose of NEP  

The NEP is a radical framework that assists the overall development of the education system of the country. The policy was introduced earlier in 1964, after Siddheshwar Prasad, former Congress MP reprehended the government for the lack of philosophy in education. The new educational policy is revised every few decades. The latest policy has replaced the 34-year-old NEP implemented in 1986.

 Significant Features of NEP 2020:

  • The government schools will now be offering pre-school education, i.e., nursery, LKG, UKG. The Indian education system, which was previously based on 10+2 structure shifts to a 5+3+3+4 design. The learning structure based on the age of students will be divided into four parts, foundational, preparatory, middle school, and secondary school. Along with that, the new education policy denotes that the students will be taught in their mother tongue till class 5.
  • There will be optional subjects for the students of class 10th. This means that the students can choose subjects like art and craft along with the conventional subjects of learning. 
  • The board exam structure will be redesigned to make it easier for students to perform during the examination. The primary aim of the test will be, to focus upon the core capacity of the student, rather than memorization. Along with this, the government has introduced the option of two board exams so that the students can check their performance and ponder upon the improvements required. 
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  • The undergraduate program is now stretched for four years. If the student is pursuing their undergraduate program with the research they will be further eligible to directly apply for a PhD program. 
  • The undergraduate students now have multiple exit options. The students can drop out of their courses at any given point. On completing one year of the course, they will be receiving a certificate, on completing 2 years they will receive a diploma degree, and on completing 3 years they will be having a degree in the course itself.
  • The higher education system will be multidisciplinary and the single-stream institutes will be fading out by the year 2040. 
  • Regulators who have been controlling the education system will no longer be in power. Systems like, UGC, AICTE, NCTE will be abolished and replaced by a single regulation.  

Implementation Process

The policy will be providing guidelines and the state government is supposed to follow those. As per the policy, it is not a compulsion to follow it, for instance, Tamil Nadu is not following the triple language formula as per the education policy of 1968. Since education is coexistent, both the Center and state governments can have a collaborative approach for implementing the new educational reforms. The changes in the education system will not be immediate, the government has aimed to implement the entire policy by the year 2040

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As per the government, the plan is to set up committees based on various subjects along with the members of appropriate ministries. This committee will work on developing the implementation plan concerning NEP 2020. The overall planning will be followed by the annual review based on the targets achieved. The complete plan comprises a list of actions to be taken by the HRD Ministry, departments of education, schools, NCERT, etc. 

Talking about the Difficulties in the Policy

Now apart from having various advantages, the NEP 2020 also has various hurdles to cross before it gets implemented. The policy aims to bring a considerate transformation by the year 2040. Whereas some proposals of this policy will have an immediate implementation, while others will take longer.

The policy is a 100 action plan which requires a steady growth based on time. Implementation of these actions will be done in phases based on regional and institutional development. The Institutes of Eminence (IoEs) and the Central Universities will be leading the plan of action. 

On the lines of legal changes, the draft of the Higher Education Commission of India Bill is still withering in the Ministry for more than a year. The manifesto for the Board of Governors will require changes to be made based on the Central and State University Acts. 

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A note is already passed to the cabinet to form a National Research Foundation, but to make it a completely autonomous body it is necessary to implement an Act.

Another major concern is funding. Free breakfasts can be taken into consideration in the next academic year if the budget allocation covers it. The process of converting the affiliated colleges into an autonomous institution will approximately take 15 years as it requires financial assistance.

The NEP 2020 aims to make India a benchmark in the field of education. The academic year is delayed due to the pandemic and supposed to begin by September-October. The government plans to implement a few policies before the new academic year begins. Experts believe that the new education policy will bring a lot of positive changes in the education system of India shortly.      

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