India’s New Education Policy of 2020

India’s union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Education Policy 2020, engraving a way for transforming reforms in school and higher education sector in the country. Union cabinet also renamed the HRD Ministry as 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.

“I congratulate Government of India for giving the country an education policy that will nurture a child’s creative and unique abilities rather than only judging them on their exam scores”, said famous film actor Anil Kapoor in reaction to new education policy.

The National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. More than three decades have passed since previous Policy. During this period significant changes have taken place in our country, society economy, and the world at large. It is in this context that the education sector needs to gear itself towards the demands of the 21st Century and the needs of the people and the country. Quality, innovation and research will be the pillars on which India will become a knowledge super power. Clearly, a new Education Policy is needed.

The Government had initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy through the consultation process for an inclusive, participatory and holistic approach, which takes into consideration expert opinions, field experiences, empirical research, stakeholder feedback, as well as lessons learned from best practices.

The Committee for preparation of the draft National Education Policy submitted its report to the Ministry on 31.05.2019. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 (DNEP 2019) was uploaded on MHRD’s website and also at MyGov Innovate portal eliciting views/suggestions/comments of stakeholders, including public. The draft NEP is based on the foundational pillars access, affordability, equity, quality and accountability.

Post submission of Draft Report States/UTs Governments and Government of India Ministries were invited to give their views and comments on Draft National Education Policy 2019. A brief summary of the Draft National Education Policy 2019 was circulated among various stakeholders, which was also translated in 22 languages and uploaded on the Ministry’s website. Meetings with State Education Secretaries of School Education and with State Secretaries of Higher & Technical Education were held.An Education Dialogue with Hon’ble MPs of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Karnataka and Odisha.

A special meeting of CABE on National Education Policy was held. In the meeting, 26 Education Ministers of various States and UTs, representatives of States and Union Territories, Members of CABE, Heads of Autonomous Organisations, Vice Chancellors of Universities, attended the meeting along with senior officials of the Central and State Governments. Around 2 lakh suggestions on the Draft National Education Policy received from various stakeholders. A meeting on Draft NEP 2019 of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development was held on 07.11.2019.

Indian Government also said that “Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships. Private HEIs (Higher Education Institutes) will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.”

A development in the Indian education system and policies were need of the time, demand of the 21st century. It took almost 34 years for India to make changes into its schooling, Higher Education processes.