The govt has approved the New Education Policy which was unveiled by Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
The Ministry of HRD has also been renamed to Education Ministry.
The policy brings several changes to the education system — from the school to college level. The NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992, so it is being revamped after a gap of 34 years.
Among the many recommendations, here are the key ones.
1) The NEP recommends having a central body that will regulate the state-level education boards, along with a multi-lingual teaching system.
This essentially means, the teachers will teach not only in English but also in regional Indian languages.
2) The National Education Policy suggests changing the school education system to 5+3+3+4 format.
This means the first five years of the school will comprise of the foundation stage including three years of pre-primary school and classes 1 and class 2. The next three years will be divided into a preparatory stage from classes 3 to 5. Later, three years of middle school (classes 6 to 8), and four years of secondary stage (classes 9 to 12).
3) The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, with multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications.
For example, a certificate will be awarded after completing 1 year in a discipline, including vocational and professional areas, a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year programme. The 4-year Bachelor's programme, though, shall be the preferred option.
4) The degree of MPhil will be discontinued. To pursue research, MPhil will not be allowed anymore. All courses at UG, PG and PhD level to be interdisciplinary.
Not just courses, but universities will also go multi-disciplinary. For public and private Higher Education Institutes, common norms will be given. This means the fee will be fixed within the regulatory framework and no extra fee will be charged beyond the cap.
5) One of the crucial announcements made by the govt is that public investment in the education sector will be made 6% of India's GDP at the earliest. Currently it's around 4.43% including state and central govt.
6) The draft policy aims to increase the gross enrolment ratio to 50% by 2035. Gross enrolment ratio is the number of students enrolled in school at several different grade levels, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the eligible school-age population. India's Gross Enrolment Ratio or GER was 26.3% in 2018-19
7) The NEP draft also suggested the setting up of a national academic credit bank (NACB) which will store credits accumulated by a student on completing a course or subject in a program. These credits will help one transfer easily from one course or institute to another.