Nirmala Sitharaman has delivered her first budget speech a week before. In her maiden budget, she announced that the government is putting its best foot forward to bring in a New Education Policy. The policy will transform India's higher education system to one of the global best education systems. It is expected to meet the people's requirement regarding quality education, innovation and research to make this country a knowledge superpower.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has constituted the Committee under Chairmen Dr K. Kasturirangan in June 2017 for drafting National Education Policy. The Committee submitted its report in May 2019, and address the challenges such as access, equity, quality, affordability and accountability faced by the current education system. The new Draft National Education Policy proposes many changes in both school and higher education and focuses more on research and innovation besides better governance systems.
The official sources suggest that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is seeking inputs and suggestions on the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) 2019 from citizens. You too can make an impact on the NEP with some inputs before the last date, i.e., July 31, 2019. Prior to that, explore some salient features in the Draft National Education Policy.
- The policy aims to deliver quality early childhood care and education for all children between 3 to 6 years by 2025.
- Special attention will be given to early language and mathematics in Grades 1 to 5.
- The Committee proposes an equal emphasis on all the subjects - science, social sciences, art, languages, sports, mathematics with the integration of vocational and academic streams in school.
- There is an aim to achieve 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio for all school education by 2030.
- Special education zones will come to put a barrier that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel due to his/her circumstances of birth or background.
- The recruitment of teachers will be transparent and promotions will be based on merit.
- Focused on the governance of the school by proposing school complexes (cluster of 10-20 public schools). This will ensure the availability of all resources starting infrastructure to academic.
- Separate bodies will carry out the regulation and operations of schools to eliminate conflict of interest.
- The Committee proposes 15,000 excellent institutions across the country instead of current 800 universities and 40,000 colleges.
- A proposal for the broad-based liberal arts education at the undergraduate level.
- The institutional governance will be based on autonomy (academic, administrative and financial). Each higher education institution will be governed by an independent board.
- The National Higher Education Regulatory Authority will be the only regulator for all higher education, including professional education.
The demand for teachers will increase in the coming years. New teachers need rigorous preparation and practising teachers need a professional development besides academic and professional support. The 4-year integrated Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programme for teacher preparation will be offered as an undergraduate programme. However, the current two-year B.Ed will continue until 2030.
- All professional education will come under the roof of the higher education system.
- Independent technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities or institutions in these or other fields will be discontinued.
- The first year or two of the MBBS course will be designed in such a way that it is common for all science graduates after which they can take up MBBS, BDS, Nursing or other specialisations.
National Research Foundation
Research and innovation are the two main pillars to drive the country's economy and uplift society. To make the research system strong, the Committee proposed an autonomous body National Research Foundation (NRF). The primary function of the foundation is to funding research in all disciplines. The NRF will have four major divisions, namely, Sciences, Technology, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.
Miscellaneous Key Points
- The NEP will ensure the growth and preservation of all Indian languages.
- 100% youth and adult literacy by 2030 is the policy aim.
- Proposal for public investment to expand public education.
- Under the Prime Minister of India, Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog or National Education Commission will be formed. This will be the custodian of the vision of education in India.