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New Education Policy 2020 : Changes in Indian education system

The new National Education Policy (NEP) was approved on Wednesday, 29 July 2020, by the Union Cabinet and the Education Ministry (formerly HRD Ministry). Mr Prakash Javadekar and Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced that there would be a single regulator for all higher education institutions. Former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan headed the committee which suggested changes to the education system under the new NEP. NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992.

As digital learning is the need of the hour, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said, “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed.”

The Ministry received over 2.5 lakh suggestions from stakeholders after a NEP draft was put on public display. After discussions, the final policy was approved by the cabinet on 29 July 2020.


Some highlights of the new National Education Policy:


Medium of instruction in schools

Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Class 5, but preferably till Class 8 and beyond, will be the home language (mother tongue, local/regional language). Thereafter, the home language will continue to be taught as a language wherever possible in both public and private schools.

Two board exams, one for improvement

The focus of the board exams will be on testing concepts and knowledge application. All students will be allowed to take board exams on up to two occasions during any given school year, one main exam and one for improvement, if desired.

Have board exams changed?

While the board exams for Class 10 and 12 will be continued, the existing system of board and entrance exams will be reformed to eliminate the need for attending coaching classes. Board exams will be redesigned to encourage holistic development. Depending on interests, students will be able to choose any of the subjects in which they take the board exams.

Idea of teaching Hindi in Class 6 dropped

The government has dropped the provision that stipulated Hindi as one of the language subjects in Class 6.

Has the curriculum changed?

Flexible curricular structures will enable creative combinations of disciplines for study and would offer multiple entry and exit points. Curricula of all higher education institutions will include credit-based courses and projects in the areas of community engagement and service, environmental education and value-based education.

What is multiple exit options in degrees?

The undergraduate degree will be of either 3-year or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options. After completing one year of study, a student will get a certificate in the discipline. After completing 2 years of study, a student will receive a diploma. After successfully completing 3 years of study, a Bachelor’s degree will be awarded in the chosen discipline. According to Khare, “The 4-year multidisciplinary bachelor's programme shall be the preferred option, since it allows the opportunity to experience the full range of holistic and multidisciplinary education in addition to a focus on the chosen major and minors as per the choices of the student.”

Can foreign universities set up campuses in India?

The world’s top 100 universities will be able to conduct their courses and educational programmes in India through a new legislative framework. Foreign universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions in India. High-performing Indian universities will also be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries.


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