Year in Review 2020: National Education Policy

  • The National Education Policy was approved by the Union Cabinet on the 29th of July, 2020, with the objective of providing a concrete, holistic, all-inclusive, and universalised framework for pre-elementary to higher education in India, including vocational studies within its purview; replacing the previously introduced Nation Policy on Education, 1986.
  • Part I of the NEP 2020 deals with school education, wherein, as opposed to the current 10+2 model, a new 5+3+3+4 model of pedagogical and curricular structure is proposed to be introduced, which would include the foundational, preparatory, middle, and secondary levels.
  • Flexibility in course and subject choices, as well as promotion of multilingualism, are other key aspects of the NEP 2020. In pursuance to the introduction of the three-language formula, it was clarified that there will be no compulsion to study any particular language; further, that the medium of instruction will not be changed from English to any regional language.
  • Part II of the NEP 2020 addresses higher education, and examines measures for institutional restructuring and consolidation. It is pertinent to note that M-Phil is to be discontinued, and a Higher Education Council of India was proposed to be set up for the regulation and overseeing of higher education in the country.
  • Part III and IV of the NEP 2020 discusses professional education, the importance of integrating technology in the learning process, and certain other key areas of focus; and the implementation of the policy, respectively.
  • In order to ensure the nationwide distribution of learning opportunities irrespective of social circumstances or status, the National Education Policy, commonly abbreviated to NEP 2020, has set an ambitious target of a 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GEER) in schools, to be achieved by 2030; in line with Goal 4 (SDG4) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The NEP 2020 has a great potentially positive impact on its key stakeholders. By making it possible for foreign universities to set up branches in India, the NEP 2020 will be favourable to trade in the services industry. It may result in more students opting for higher studies in India, thus reducing the infamous brain drain as well as depletion of resources.