Legal Correspondent: Utkarsh Sinha
August 20, 2021: One of the biggest highlights from the previous year has been the launch of the much awaited ‘The New National Education Policy’ which came after an excruciating wait of over three decades. The Union Cabinet agreed and gave its nod to the new policy. The main aim of the National Education Policy 2020 is to introduce several changes in the education system of the country right from school to college level. It aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”. The cabinet has also approved the renaming of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to the Ministry of Education. The new education policy cleared by the cabinet is only the third major revamp of the framework of education in India since independence. The other two earlier education policies were brought in the years 1968 and 1986. The main moto of the new education policy is ‘Educate, Encourage and Enlighten’.
The MHRD formed a committee chaired by the former ISRO chief Dr. K. Kasturirangan for preparing the National Education Policy. The committee was constituted in June 2017 and submitted its report on May 31, 2019. The public spending on education sector by the States and Centre is to be raised to 6% of the GDP. Moreover, the New Education Policy of the country covers elementary and university level education in urban as well as in the rural sectors of the country. The very first policy for education was promoted in the year 1968 with the second one following in 1986. The first ever National Education Policy was based on the recommendations of the Education commission (1964-66).
The policy sought to have thoroughgoing restructuring of the education system of the country. Equalizing opportunities for education were given to all, to accomplish national integration and better development of the country by not just economically but also culturally. The National Education Policy also called for realizing compulsory education for every child until the age of 14, as even mentioned in the Indian Constitution. It also aimed at providing enhanced training and improving teacher’s qualification. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a four-year integrated B.Ed. Training in online education modes relevant to the Indian situation in order to help bridge the digital divide will be provided to the teachers as well. New curriculum given in the new education policy is, board exams will now be more application and knowledge based. Vocational education will also be imparted from 6th grade onwards. It will be replacing the 10+2 curriculum structure with a 5+3+3+4 structure. The new system has proposed 12 years of school education with 3 years of pre-schooling. One of the most important points focused on is the equitable and inclusive education i.e., the education policy will focus on promoting equality among all. The special attention will be given to the SEDG (socially and economically disadvantaged) group. SEDG includes gender, geographical cultural and social disabilities. Meritorious students belonging to the lower section of the society like SC, ST, OBC and other socially and economically disadvantages groups will be given incentives.
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