[Solved] National Education Policy 2020 is in conformity with the Sustainable Development Goals-4 (2030). It intended to restructure and re-orient the education system in India. Critically examine the statement. (UPSC GS -2 Mains 2020)

By | June 10, 2021

To change India’s declining education framework, the public authority of India has dispatched the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP). Aside from key proficiency and numeracy and in general psychological turn of events, the NEP imagines giving 21st-century abilities, balanced character building, basic reasoning, comprehensive, request based, revelation based, conversation put together and examination based hands-with respect to learning.

Key Features of National Education Policy 2020

  • New Policy aims for Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % GER in school education by 2030
  • NEP 2020 will bring 2 crore out of school children back into the main stream
  • New 5+3+3+4 school curriculum with 12 years of schooling and 3 years of Anganwadi/ Pre-schooling
  • Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools ; Vocational Education to start  from Class 6 with Internships
  • Teaching upto at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language
  • Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
  • GER in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035 ;  3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education
  • Higher Education curriculum to have Flexibility of Subjects
  • Multiple Entry / Exit to be allowed with appropriate certification
  • Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate  Transfer of Credits
  • National Research Foundation to be established to foster a strong research culture
  • Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education, single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions
  • Affiliation System to be phased out in 15 years with graded autonomy to colleges
  • NEP 2020 advocates increased use of technology with equity; National Educational Technology Forum to be created
  • NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups
  • New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and HEs; National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit , Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up

Implementing SDG-4: SDG -4 envisages ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. The NEP through the following provisions strives to achieve these targets.

Significance of NEP

  • Acknowledging  Importance of Formative years: In adopting a 5+3+3+4 model for school education starting at age 3, the policy recognizes the primacy of the formative years from ages 3 to 8 in shaping the child’s future.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Approach: Another key aspect of school education in the new policy is the breaking of the strict division of arts, commerce, and science streams in high school.
  • Education and Skills Integration: NEP introduces vocational courses with an internship. This may nudge the vulnerable sections of society to send their children to school.
  • Making Education More Inclusive: The NEP proposes the extension of the Right to Education (RTE) to all children up to the age of 18.
  • Effective Regulation: The policy also seeks to establish a super-regulator for education which will be responsible for standards-setting, funding, accreditation and regulation of higher education in India.
  • Allowing Foreign Universities: The document states universities from among the top 100 in the world will be able to set up campuses in India.

However, on many issues, the NEP falls short in identifying what exactly ails India’s Education system.

  • Marks Dominated Education System: Until marks or grades dominate the education system, it would be challenging to bring transformation as envisaged by NEP.
  • Persistent Inequity & Inequality: The NEP falls short in addressing the two main problems that plague our society and education system — inequity and inequality.
  • Knowledge-Jobs Mismatch: There is a persistent mismatch between the knowledge & skills imparted and the jobs available. This has been one of the main challenges that have affected the Indian education system since Independence.
  • Federal Angle: Though education is a concurrent subject in India’s federal structure, yet the NEP approach is suggestive of over-centralization.

Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education

Further reading…..

Higher Education

Increase GER to 50 % by 2035

NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.

Holistic Multidisciplinary Education

  • The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate  education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and  multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
  • UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period. For example,  Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years.
  • An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different  HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned.
  • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to  be set up as models  of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
  • The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

Regulation

  • Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education.
  • HECI to have  four independent verticals  – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,  and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation.
  • HECI will  function through faceless intervention through technology, & will have powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards.
  • Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.

Rationalised Institutional Architecture

  • Higher education institutions will be transformed into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions  providing  high quality teaching, research, and community engagement.
  • The definition of university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges.
  • Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
  • Over a period of time, it is envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.

Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty

NEP makes recommendations for motivating, energizing, and building capacity of  faculty thorugh  clearly defined, independent, transparent recruitment , freedom to design curricula/pedagogy, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership. Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountabl

Teacher Education

A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree .Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).

Mentoring Mission

A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty – including those with the ability to teach in Indian languages – who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.

Financial support for students

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 will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.

Open and Distance Learning

This will be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER. Measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc., will be taken to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.

Online Education and Digital Education:

A comprehensive set of recommendations for promoting online education consequent to the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education whenever and wherever traditional and in-person modes of education are not possible, has been covered. A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.

Technology in education

 An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration. Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education will be done to improve classroom processes, support teacher professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups and streamline educational planning, administration and management

Promotion of Indian languages

To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages, NEP recommends setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in HEIs,  and use mother tongue/local language as a medium of instruction in more HEI  programmes .

Internationalization of education will be facilitated through both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top world ranked Universities to open campuses in our country.

Professional Education

All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system. Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.

Adult Education

Policy  aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.

Financing Education

The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.

Unprecedented Consultations

NEP 2020 has been formulated after an unprecedented process of consultation that involved nearly over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, 6600 Blocks, 6000 ULBs, 676 Districts. The MHRD initiated an unprecedented collaborative, inclusive, and highly participatory consultation process in January 2015. In May 2016, ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted its report.   Based on this, the Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’.  In June 2017 a ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy’  was constituted under the Chairmanship of eminent Scientist Padma Vibhushan, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Hon’ble Human Resource Development Minister on 31st May 2019.  The Draft National Education Policy 2019  was uploaded on MHRD’s website and at the ‘MyGov Innovate’ portal eliciting views/suggestions/comments of stakeholders, including the public.

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