Draft National Education Policy- 2019

By admin July 3, 2019 19:17

With the aim to introduce a plethora of reforms at all levels of education, Ministry of Human Resource Development has come out with a draft of new National Education Policy (NEP), submitted by Kasturirangan committee.

Why need of new NEP?

    • The first NEP was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. Since then several changes have taken place that calls for a revision of the Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research.
  • Since the last NEP, India has liberalised its economy, India’s population has witnessed a massive growth of 65%, there is a paradigm shift in every sector globally, Signing of the Washington Accord, and most India needs to add one million jobs every month. 
    • The growing demand for technology across the world, need to understand the importance of technology and also need to leverage the same through education policy so that more job opportunities could be generated.
  • Several reports such by ASER, NCERT have found severe learning crisis and emphasizes the need to focus on building a foundation for reading and arithmetics from Class I onwards.


Highlights of Draft of National Education Policy, 2019

School Education
  • To overcome the shortcomings of early childhood learning programmes, the draft Policy recommends developing a two-part curriculum for early childhood care and education 
  • Extending the ambit of the RTE Act to include children between the ages of 3 to 18 years.  
  • It opposes no detention policy.  Instead, schools must ensure that children are achieving age-appropriate learning levels.
  • Restructuring the board examinations to test only core concepts, skills and higher order capacities.
  • Regulation of schools by an independent State School Regulatory Authority for each state.
Higher Education
  • To increase Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) to 50% by 2035 from the current level of about 25.8%.
  • National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA), which will replace the existing individual regulators in higher education
  • Separating NAAC from the UGC into an independent and autonomous body for accreditation 
  • National Research Foundation will be set up, for funding, mentoring and building the capacity for quality research in India. 
  • Making undergraduate programmes interdisciplinary. Four-year undergraduate programmes in Liberal Arts will also be introduced.
Education Governance
  • An apex body National Education Commission will be set up under PM, This body will be responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education in the country on a continuous and sustained basis.  
Technology in Education
  • National Mission on Education through ICT: A National Education Technology Forum will also be set up under the Mission, as an autonomous body, to facilitate decision making on the induction, deployment and use of technology.  It will provide evidence-based advice to central and state-governments on technology-based interventions. 
  • National Repository on Educational Data: A National Repository will be set up to maintain all records related to institutions, teachers, and students in digital form.  
Vocational Education
  • Integrating vocational educational programmes in all educational institutions in a phased manner, to oversee this National Committee for the Integration of Vocational Education will be set up. 
Education and Indian Languages
  • The medium of instruction must either be the home language/mother tongue/local language until grade five and preferable until grade eight, wherever possible.
  • Introduced by the first NEP, the three-language formula states that state governments should adopt and implement the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking states, and of Hindi along with the regional language and English in the non-Hindi speaking states 
  • To promote Indian languages, a National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit will be set up. 


Key differences between the existing system and NEP recommendations
Current System Draft policy recommendations
  • RTE covers class 1 to class 8
  • Anganwadis, preschools cover 3 to 6 age group
  • Focus on health and nutrition in anganwadis
  • Rote learning, formal teaching in preschool
  • WCD ministry oversees the anganwadi system
    • RTE from preschool to (age 3 onwards) till class 12
    • Integrated primary school framework from age 3 to 8
    • Anganwadis, preschools to be linked to local primary school
    • Focus on play and discovery-based learning
  • MHRD to oversee educational aspects


Quick look
Arguments in favour Arguments in criticism 
  • A draft is focussed on Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability of the education system of the country
    • restructuring of schools into school complexes
  • Emphasize the quality of teachers’ education
  • Suggest to make all institutes comprehensive teaching-research institutions
  • Stresses on research, suggests allowing private institutes to have access to govt funds.
  • Integrating pre-school with govt school system may pose infra and logistic challenge
  • Fee control suggestion in private school may face legal challenges 
  • Hints at bringing back management quota
  • Does not address the tax treatment of educational services
  • Draft lacks operational details and does not offer insights into how the policy will be funded.


Way forward

  • It’s an important document outlining policies whose implementation will make an impact on future generations. Therefore, it deserves to be discussed widely in terms of the possible implications of the policy.
  • On language issue, multiple compulsory languages should be avoided a rather regional language can be made mandatory. English should be used as a supportive language along with two other regional languages, because of its global reach and also a linking language across the country
  • Further, it can be said that the discourse has been triggered and it is a welcome step. Thus, there is a need for forward-looking and empowering policy.

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By admin July 3, 2019 19:17