Since the societies are changing so the means of sustainability must change as well. Education has been a backbone of the societies. No society can make achievement or progress if it’s education system is static. Keeping in consideration the new developments and dynamism the government has announced new education policy to revolutionize the education system and also meet the demands of the time. Education has been seen as a core necessity of individuals, social groups, nations and human society. The modern world views it as a basic human right. Since the formation of the Indian Republic, most landmark committees or commissions on education have unequivocally underscored the idea of education for all. Many crucial concerns of contemporary education find mention in earlier policy documents too. Yet, a study of previous reports and policies makes it amply clear that the educational journey of India has been quite uneven, and many genuine aspirations have remained unrealized even after seven decades of Independence. It would be unfair to claim that our predecessors did not act upon these concerns with reasonable sincerity, at least at the planning level. Yet, in a vast, populous and diverse country of staggering socio-economic differentials, the execution of policy is always a challenge. This is clearly reflected in the recurrence of core educational concerns in reports or policy documents published since the early 1950s. The last national education policy was created in 1986. During these 34 years, the world has changed in unprecedented ways. Revolutionary alterations in the world’s political economy, fuelled by technological developments, have significantly contributed to the dismantling of the barriers of gender, class, caste, culture, geographical distance, and so forth. All this has created a strong sense of aspiration and hope among the people. Rapid economic developments after 1991, the year when India opened economically, have triggered a high demand for knowledge and specialized skills. During the two-and-a-half decades since economic liberalisation, no comprehensive national vision could be conceived to address the gross systemic inadeqacies impeding the momentum of an aspirational and restless India. An NEP is a comprehensive framework to guide the development of education in the country. The need for a policy was first felt in 1964 when Congress MP Siddheshwar Prasad criticized the then government for lacking a vision and philosophy for education. The same year, a 17-member Education Commission, headed by then UGC Chairperson D S Kothari, was constituted to draft a national and coordinated policy on education. Based on the suggestions of this Commission, Parliament passed the first education policy in 1968. A new NEP usually comes along every few decades. India has had three to date. The first came in 1968 and the second in 1986, under Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi respectively; the NEP of 1986 was revised in 1992 when P V Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister. The third is the NEP released Wednesday under the Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi. The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, released on 29 July 2020, is a historic and ambitious document. With an eye on the future, it speaks to all aspects of education during our times. This policy is in many ways radically different from all its predecessors, and it looks at our educational requirements in a new way. The new National Educational Policy 2020 will implement a sea of changes across all levels of education in India, including the essential understanding of education in the country. It also seeks to implement changes in the way the facilitators of such education – schools, colleges and teachers – are trained and how they approach education.
The emphasis on primary education in regional languages and the introduction of Sanskrit, following the three-language formula, will turn out to be a great boon to the people of the country. In fact this policy is student centric, teacher centric as well as curriculum centric.
The policy is based on the pillars of equity, quality, equality and will transform India into a vibrant knowledge hub. A new transformational change will occur throughout the country if this Policy would be implemented in letter and spirit. Teacher community is hopeful that this Policy will reform the education system throughout the country. The NEP 2020 is the first new education policy to be introduced in India in the 21st century, the last having been implemented in 1986, 34 years ago. The NEP, thus, replaces the National Policy on Education, 1986, which was modified once in 1992. Before that, the first education policy was passed in 1968. National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 will reform whole structure of the education sector. These reforms look holistic, flexible and going to promote multi-disciplinary education with an increased focus on basic skills, to make the life of students more natural and attract foreign education players to the country. New education policy is built on the five foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability; the education policy will set the roadmap that aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower. It is the third major revamp of the framework of education in India since 1947; the first Education Policy was adopted in 1968 and the last one in 1986 later modified in 1992. The NEP includes universalization of education up to the secondary level with 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) by 2030 and bringing 2-crore out of school children back into the mainstream through an Open Schooling System. Likewise in Higher Education with a current GER 26.3%, a target of 50% by 2035 has been set. The policy seeks to ramp-up public investment in education from the current 4.6% of GDP to 6%. The Ministry of Human Resource Development will now be the Ministry of Education, UGC, AICTE will be replaced by separate bodies and Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be an umbrella term for entire Higher Education. Education is an important and basic thing for a country because it is believed that today’s children are tomorrow’s future. So children in a country should have basic education. Indian government also introduced “Right to education” for children between the age of 6–14. It was framed for better education to children. There were several changes that have taken place in this policy. So there was a need for a revision of the policy. So Government of India brought out new national education policy. This national education policy was formed through an inclusive, participatory and holistic approach. So the Government of India brought out a national education policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population’s requirements with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate more amount of manpower in science and technology, industry.
a. Let me highlighting the main aims of this education policy
b. Engagement with industry to link education to employability
c. Promoting research and innovation
d. Gaining new knowledge
e. Internationalization of higher education
f. Sustaining student support system
g. Promote cultural integration through language
h. Linking higher education to society
i. Developing the quality of teachers
j. Financing higher education
k. Integrating skill development in higher education
l. Focus on child health
m. Promotion of languages
n. Comprehensive education
o. Reforming school examination systems etc.
So by this we can know that if this new National education policy becomes successful this will be a great boon to Indian education system. Government also is focusing on making children multi talented by giving them comprehensive education. New knowledge is being developed such as new concepts etc. This policy also helps in improving the quality of teachers or bringing out the best. The NEP only provides a broad direction and is not mandatory to follow. Since education is a concurrent subject (both the Centre and the state governments can make laws on it), the reforms proposed can only be implemented collaboratively by the Centre and the states. This will not happen immediately. The incumbent government has set a target of 2040 to implement the entire policy. Sufficient funding is also crucial; the 1968 NEP was hamstrung by a shortage of funds. The government plans to set up subject-wise committees with members from relevant ministries at both the central and state levels to develop implementation plans for each aspect of the NEP. The plans will list out actions to be taken by multiple bodies, including the HRD Ministry, state Education Departments, school Boards, NCERT, Central Advisory Board of Education and National Testing Agency, among others. Planning will be followed by a yearly joint review of progress against targets set. Another important dimension of the NEP is the emphasis on mother tongue/ regional language which has been a most controversial part of this policy. Most government schools in the country are doing this already. As for private schools, it’s unlikely that they will be asked to change their medium of instruction. A senior ministry official clarified to the Media that the provision on mother tongue as medium of instruction was not compulsory for states. “Education is a concurrent subject. This is why the policy clearly states that kids will be taught in their mother tongue or regional language. India is plural type of society this policy will obviously produce a productive future for India. India needs a transforming and creating a dynamic education system is fundamental for the progress of any country. The emphasis on primary education in regional languages and the introduction of Sanskrit, following the three-language formula, will turn out to be a great boon to the people of the country. In fact this policy is student centric, teacher centric as well as curriculum centric. Let us hope for new beginning I will conclude all this with Nelson Mandela quote that Education is the only weapon that can change the whole world.
(The author is a student at the P G Department of Education Kashmir University. Views are his own)