- Recently, the Prime Minister launched multiple initiatives in the education sector at a conference, to mark the completion of one year of reforms under the National Education Policy 2020 which aims at making India a global knowledge superpower.
- The Prime Minister also noted the role played by portals like Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) and Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) in online education during the pandemic.
About New Initiatives
Academic Bank of Credit:
- It is envisaged as a digital bank that holds the credit earned by a student in any course.
- It is a major instrument for facilitating multidisciplinary and holistic education. It will provide multiple entry and exit options for students in Higher education.
- It will make the youth future-oriented and open the way for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) -driven economy.
Engineering in Regional Languages:
- 14 engineering colleges in eight States are going to start engineering studies in five Indian languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bangla.
- This emphasis on mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in the students from poor, rural and tribal backgrounds.
- In a recent survey, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) discovered that 42% of the students surveyed nationally, favoured pursuing Engineering in regional languages.
- The AICTE is creating a database of resources to allow colleges to offer more programmes in regional languages and developed a tool to translate engineering content into 11 languages.
Vidya Pravesh & SAFAL:
- Vidya Pravesh, a three month play based school preparation module for Grade 1 students will be released along with SAFAL (Structured Assessment For Analyzing Learning Levels), a competency based assessment framework for Grades 3, 5 and 8 in CBSE schools.
National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR):
- It will help in building up a new education ecosystem that will create a digital foundation leading to self-governance of all parties involved, particularly states and the Centre.
- It lets educationists do evaluation based on talents and abilities, helping students understand their area of specialties that can be utilised in their future profession.
National Education Technology Forum (NETF):
- It will provide independent evidence-based advice to central and state government agencies on technology-based interventions. A special focus will be on improving technology access at the grassroot education level.
- Schools will be required to have skilled professionals. In addition, schools will have to hire qualified candidates to teach emerging technological skills to students.
- Once the forum is set up, school-wise information will be sought on how technology is being used for imparting academic content and what steps are being taken to enhance research.
- It will be funded by the government but at a later stage, private funding and support from industry bodies would be invited.
- It will provide training to teachers as per their needs and they will be able to give their suggestions to the department. It will have 68 modules including 12 generic and 56 subject-specific modules and will cover around 10 lakh teachers.
- NISHTHA is the largest teachers’ training programme, first of its kind in the world to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
Sign Language as a Subject:
- Indian sign language, for the first time, has been accorded the status of language subject. Students will be able to study it as a language also.
- There are more than 3 lakh students who need sign language for their education. This will give a boost to Indian sign language and will help the divyang people.
Related Previous Initiatives
- National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning.
- Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA).
- Prime Minister's Research Fellowship (PMRF).
- Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC).
- Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
- Mid Day Meal Scheme.
- Right To Education (RTE) Act, 2009.
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
National Education Policy
- The Union Cabinet has approved the new National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 with an aim to introduce several changes in the Indian education system - from the school to college level.
- The Cabinet has also approved the renaming of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Ministry of Education.
- The NEP cleared by the Cabinet is only the third major revamp of the framework of education in India since independence.
- The two earlier education policies were brought in 1968 and 1986.
- Universalization of education from preschool to secondary level with 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.
- To bring 2 crore out of school children back into the mainstream through an open schooling system.
- The current 10+2 system to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
- It will bring the uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child.
- It will also have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre-schooling.
- Class 10 and 12 board examinations to be made easier, to test core competencies rather than memorised facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice.
- School governance is set to change, with a new accreditation framework and an independent authority to regulate both public and private schools.
- 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 up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/regional language. No language will be imposed on any student.
- Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
- A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2021, will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
- By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
- Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50% by 2035. Also, 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education.
- Holistic Undergraduate education with a flexible curriculum can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
- M.Phil courses will be discontinued and all the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level will now be interdisciplinary.
- Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits.
- 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.
- Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards. Also, HECI will be having four independent verticals namely,
- National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation,
- General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting,
- Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,
- National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
- Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.
- Over a period of time, every college is expected to develop into either an autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
- 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.
- National Assessment Centre- 'PARAKH' has been created to assess the students.
- It also paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India.
- It emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
- National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up.
- It also aims to increase the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.