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Union Cabinet approves National Education Policy 2020

Wednesday, 29 Jul 2020
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The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020, making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors.

This is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the 34 year-old National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986.

The policy has been built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability. This policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible and multidisciplinary.

NPE 2020 emphasises on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels pre-school to secondary. Infrastructure support, innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream, tracking of students and their learning levels.

Facilitating multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes, association of counselors or well-trained social workers with schools, open learning for classes 3,5 and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools, secondary education programmes equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses, adult literacy and life-enrichment programmes are some of the proposed ways for achieving this. About two crore out-of-school children will be brought back into the mainstream under NEP 2020.

With emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education, the 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/pre- schooling.

States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by Grade-3 by 2025. A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.

A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by NCERT.

A new National Assessment Centre, Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH), will be set up as a standard-setting body.

Special emphasis will be given on socially and economically disadvantaged groups (SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities. This includes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.

Every state/district will be encouraged to establish Bal Bhavans as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.
 
The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.

The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. HECI is to have four independent verticals – the National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, the General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting, the Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and the National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.

The Centre and the states will work together to increase public investment in the education sector to reach six percent of GDP at the earliest.

 
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