Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay 

National education policy was first introduced in 1968 by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to promote and regulate education in India. It has been revised three times since then. Firstly, it was revised in 1986 by the government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, then it was modified in 1992 by the government of Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao. In recently it has been revised in 2020 by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The national education Policy of India, 2020, which was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29th July 2020, outlines the vision of India’s new education system, which will be introduced in India till 2026. It took almost six years of work and consultation with thousands of educators, policymakers, and members of civil society. NEP 2020 was drafted in 2019 by taking suggestions and taking a survey in almost all district of India by the drafting committee and then was implemented in 2020 by PM Narender Modi. NEP 2020 main purpose was to bridge the gap between the universal education system and India’s education system.

Technological advancement with the advent of internet has changed the whole world but the ladder to the advancement was not modified. Finally, on July 29, 2020, a new era has been opened as national education policy 2020 was passed by the union cabinet. The policy was revised after 34 years to meet the changing needs of Indian and internal education standards. It was also first national education policy by a non-congress government. Ministry of Human Resources Development was converted into Ministry of Education. Karnataka become the first state to issue an order for the implementation of NEP 2020. Earlier educational system was working on the guidelines issued by NEP 1986, and it was very backward from the universal education goal. A dire need for modified educational system was felt. A desire for the India to be successful in global competitiveness. In India about 60% of population lies in the age group of 10 to 60 years for success, they should be fully equipped with relevant skills which should be taught to them as foundation in schools. And because of implementation of NEP 2020 these things will be taken care of. The policy aims to increase public investment in education from 4.4% of India’s GDP to 6% and more than 290 million students’ lives will change for better if the policy is implemented with the thought behind it. According to NEP 2020, the pattern of 10+2 in school will be changed into 5+3+3+4. There will be no stream in 11th and 12th and rather student can take any subject from any stream according to his/her choice. In college also if person study only year, he will be given certificate for that. If he studies for two years, then he will be given diploma for that and if he studies for 3 years then he will be given a degree and if he studies his all 4 years then he will be given as degree with research. If a person left the college in between and start again after 2-3 years or many more then he can start his studies from where he left. With this policy, early childhood education has been brought in the mainstream education for the first time. Skill-based learning is being prioritised with greater use and implementation of modern technology in the education system. Student can choose his subject according to his interest and need not to depend on the stream wise subject.

The strive for learning continuation during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a new incredible opportunity to overhaul India’s archaic education system, which is rooted in the thoughts, ideas of the past century according to which it was not possible for the technology to be that main role in the education system but due to pandemic and lockdown it was not only possible but technology was the need of the time as it was not possible to go physically in the class. The new National Education Policy (NEP) was announced right in the middle of the pandemic in July with presumption of making the India’s education system future ready. The NEP 2020 focuses on bringing the much-needed transformational changes in the education system with a global perspective. But the effect of NEP hasn’t been much in pandemic times. But it will be implemented by taking many steps in the future. As education comes under concurrent list of constitution of India, hence, State/UT government will play a vital role in implementation of National Education Policy. The Ministry of education will monitor every progress by NEP. Many more committees will be made to closely monitor the progress of the tasks. Under the credit bank, whenever a course module is completed, an academic credit will be added to the student digital locker and then if any student drop out of the college and come back after some year to join back then his academics credits will stay intact in his digital locker. In case of implementation delays, associated officials at the state and district level will be called to explain the reasons for the hold-up. The transformative shift in the new education policy is the focus on students and thus, learning and not on teacher and thus, teaching. This is a move away from rote learning to experimental learning as a student can take the subject according to his choice and need not to study the subjects which were earlier compulsory due to streams. And now a student can pursue any subject according to his choice and even the burden of parents to take a particular stream will not be there. There will be many challenges for implementation of NEP 2020 in the future like the raising of funds from 4.4% to 6%, then how will government handle other sectors like health, defense which need to be taken care of. But other than that, it is quite good education policy and will help the student a lot in the future. If this policy would have come in past the result would have been differently today and even, we wouldn’t have to suffer that much in pandemic and lockdowns. We would have been much ahead in the development. This education policy will bring us ahead in the global competitiveness. What government needs to do is to identify education reforms as a critical national priority. If it does not do so, the hope NEP 2020 has generated would soon be cast aside as hype.

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