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National Education Policy 2020: MPhil Courses Discontinued, Changes In School Curriculum

Union Ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Prakash Javadekar during a press conference in New Delhi. (Agencies)

National Desk: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) and renamed the HRD Ministry as Education Ministry. Making the announcement, Union Ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Prakash Javadekar said it is important as there were no changes in education policy for 34 years.

In the new policy, there will be holistic and multidisciplinary education to create an environment providing high-quality education to all, and making India a global knowledge superpower. The ministers informed that for all higher educational institutions, except for legal and medical institutions, there would be a single regulator. However, the MPhil courses will be discontinued across the country.

The new policy also mandates a common regulation for all public and private institutions. “As on date, we have different norms for deemed universities, central universities, for different individual standalone institutions. New Education Policy says that for reasons of quality, norms will be same for all and not as per ownership,” said Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary.

As per the new policy, common entrance tests would be conducted for admissions to higher education institutions and universities. Moreover, all the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level would be multidisciplinary with various entry and exit options.

The policy adds that higher education institutions like the IITs to include holistic education with greater inclusion of arts and humanities subjects for students studying science subjects, and vice-versa.

To boost the digital learning infrastructure, National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. The policy also mentions setting up virtual labs and use of eight regional languages for the e-courses in the first phase.

The policy also draws a new regulation which would consider various autonomy to around 45,000 colleges across India, based on their accreditation. The autonomy includes academic, administrative and financial autonomy. Moreover, top foreign universities and colleges will be allowed to set up their campuses in India.

 

For the school-going students, either one of the mother tongues or the local/regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5 in all schools across the country. The policy mentions that Sanskrit will be mainstreamed and offered at all levels and foreign languages from the secondary school level. However, the policy highlights, “no language will be imposed on any student”.

NEP 2020 has provisions to set up a Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones. These will specially focus on making education more inclusive. NEP 2020 would improve the education infrastructure and opportunities for persons with disabilities,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The NEP also proposes a change in the 10+2 structure, to be replaced with a 5+3+3+4 school curriculum, consisting of 12 years of schooling and three years of Anganwadi or pre-school. The new school curriculum includes five years of foundational stage (three years of pre-school and class 1 and 2), three years of preparatory stage (class 3 to 5), three years of middle stage (class 6 to 8) and a secondary stage (class 9 to 12).

The board exams will encourage more on experience and knowledge application than rote learning. There will be no hard separation between science and humanities streams, reports the new policy. The stream system will focus more on vocational and life skill curriculum.

The new policy aims to achieve universal adult literacy before 2035 and seeks to expand access to higher education for 50% of high school students before that. It also includes that by 2030, the government will work for 100% gross enrolment ratio from pre-school to secondary level.

A 9-member committee headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan presented the draft NEP 2020 before the Union Cabinet. The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and was last revised in 1992.

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Written by Nilutpal Timsina

Nilutpal Timsina is working as a Journalist for Headline8. He is a journalism graduate from Bangalore University. His areas of interest include civic issue, politics, and public policy spheres and other functionality of the government. Besides writing news, Nilutpal also coordinates with the video production team with story researches. He can be reached at: niluttimsina@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @nilutpaltimsina

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