India recently approved the ‘New Education Policy‘, adding new features to the education system with an aim to make “India a global knowledge superpower”.
Crux of the Matter
On 29 July 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, bringing several changes in the school and higher education system. The government declared the development as part of the plan to make “India a global knowledge superpower”.
The consultation process for the formation of the new education policy had started in January 2015, with the new NEP releasing 34 years after the last education policy, which was released in 1986.
- Expenditure on education would now be 6% of the total GDP, increasing from the previous ~4%.
- e-Content would be made available in regional languages.
- Strength and availability of digital libraries and digital study material would be increased.
- Importantly, the education institutes would be audited as ‘not for profit‘ entities.
Major Changes In School
- The ‘10+2‘ school curricular would be replaced by ‘5+3+3+4′, corresponding to the age groups 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. The aim of such modification is to cover the age group 3-6 under pre-schooling or Anganwadis. To facilitate the ‘5+3+3+4’, pre-school section would be added to all the Kendriya Vidyalayas.
- The local/regional language would be the medium of instruction till class 5. Sanskrit would be made available in all classes. However, no language would be “imposed”, with choices existing for the languages.
- No separation would be done between ‘arts’ and ‘sciences, and between ‘curricular’ and ‘extra-curricular’.
- New National Assessment Centre would be set up, named PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
- Vocational education would be provided class 6 onwards, with the education to include internships and skills training. Coding would be taught class 6 onwards as part of the ‘21st-century skill-set’.
- The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and open schools would provide courses equivalent to grades 3, 5, and 8, and secondary education courses equivalent to classes 10 and 12.
- Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV), residential schools for girls from disadvantaged groups, would now operate up to class 12.
- Syllabus would be reduced to increase application-based learning.
- Report cards would have a report on skills instead of only marks, with the assessment to have both teacher and peer reviews.
- Students to take exams only for classes 3, 5, and 8 – assessment in other years to be “competency-based” to test “higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity”
- Nutrition and health checkups would be conducted regularly.
- The School campuses would be used as adult education classes after school hours.
Major Changes In Higher Education
- Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) would be set up to digitally store credits earned in academia.
- Select universities from the Top 100 of the world would be allowed to facilitate education in India.
- MPhil courses would be discontinued.
- The Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) would be set up, and Sanskrit would be offered in higher education.
- The National Testing Agency (NTA) would offer common entrance exam for universities.
- The availability of open/distance learning would be increased, and the Gross Enrolment Ratio* in higher education is expected to increase from 26.3 percent to 50 percent by 2035.
(*As per UN, GER is the number of students enrolled in a given level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the official school-age population.)
- Minimum one large multidisciplinary higher education institution (HEI) would be set up in every district by 2030.
All HEIs expected to become multidisciplinary institutions by 2040, enrolling at least 3,000 students.
- National Research Foundation (NRF) would be developed to increase research across all streams.
- Engineering institutes, including the IITs, would have more arts and humanities subjects. Similarly, arts and humanities students would have more science-based education.
- Departments in Languages, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Indology, Art, Dance, Theatre, Education, Mathematics, Statistics, Pure and Applied Sciences, Sociology, Economics, Sports, Translation and Interpretation, etc. would be set up in all higher education institutions.
- The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. Alexandria came to be regarded as the capital of knowledge and learning, in part because of the Great Library.
- The University of Bologna is a research university in Bologna, Italy. Founded in 1088, it is the oldest university in the world, as well as one of the leading academic institutions in Italy and Europe.
- Nalanda was an ancient Mahavihara, a revered Buddhist monastery which also served as a renowned centre of learning, in the ancient kingdom of Magadha in India. At its peak the school attracted scholars and students from near and far, with some travelling from Tibet, China, Korea, and Central Asia.
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