The draft New Education Policy (NEP 2020), likely to be placed before the Union cabinet on Wednesday, gives nod to global universities to set up campuses in India and a complete overhaul of the regulatory system in higher education besides suggesting, among other things, that standalone technical institutions become multi-disciplinary.
It also seeks to achieve 50% and 100% gross enrolment ratio in higher and school education by 2030 and increase government’s investment on education by up to 20% in the next ten years.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development released the draft of the NEP in 2019, where it talked about revision of the curriculum and pedagogical structure from a 10+2 system to a 5+3+3+4 system covering ages 3-18, with focus will be on language and mathematics in Class I to III. The new policy also states that medium of instruction should be in mother tongue or local language till Class V and preferably till Class VIII and beyond.
It also proposes that every State/ District will be encouraged to establish Bal Bhavans where children of all ages may wish to go once a week or more often, as a special daytime boarding school, to partake in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities.
Moreover, the policy also focuses on special emphasis on socially and economically disadvantaged groups such as SC/ STs. It proposed a separate “Gender Inclusion Fund” for such groups and Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions.
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Apart from enhancing the GER in school and higher education, the new policy also speaks about no hard separations between vocational and academic streams. The national policy aims to provide access to vocational education to at least 50% of all learners by 2025.
In higher education the policy speaks of increased graded autonomy to the institutions with an independent Board of Governors. There will be a single overarching
umbrella body for promotion of higher education with independent bodies for setting standards, funding, accreditation and regulation.
With a focus on interdisciplinary approach the standalone technical, health science, legal, agricultural universities or institutions in other fields will gradually aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions offering other programmes as well.
The policy also sets a target of 100% adult youth and adult literacy by 2030 and both centre and states will increase public investment on education to 20% in the next 10 years.
The present (second) NEP was framed in 1986 and was modified in 1992. The first national policy was announced in 1968 based on the report and recommendations of the Kothari Commission (1964–1966).
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