General Studies II

New Education Policy- 2020


Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank reviewed implementation of New Education Policy- 2020 with the senior officials of the ministry.

During the meeting the Minister has recommended the constitution of a Task Force for coordinating of NEP implementation between higher education and school education departments of the Ministry of Education to facilitate the smooth transition of students from school education to higher education. The Minister suggested that a Review Committee and an Implementation Committee headed by Secretary, Higher Education be formed to ensure speedy implementation of NEP.


The National Education Policy 2020 aims to bring transformational reforms in school and higher education and thus shape India into a global knowledge superpower.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 on July 29, 2020. This policy replaced the 34 year old National Policy on Education (NPE),1986.

Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Features of National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy as submitted by the Kasturirangan Committee submitted an education policy which seeks to address the following challenges facing the existing education system:

  1. Quality
  2. Affordability
  3. Equity
  4. Access
  5. Accountability 
  • The policy provides for reforms at all levels of education from school to higher education. 
  • NEP aims to increase the focus on strengthening teacher training, reforming the existing exam system, early childhood care and restructuring the regulatory framework of education. 
  • Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools; Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships.
  • Teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language.
  • Assessment reforms with 360-degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes.
  • GER in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035; 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education.
  • Higher Education curriculum to have Flexibility of Subjects.
  • Multiple Entry / Exit to be allowed with appropriate certification.
  • Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits.
  • National Research Foundation to be established to foster a strong research culture.
  • Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education, single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions.
  • Affiliation System to be phased out in 15 years with graded autonomy to colleges.
  • NEP 2020 advocates increased use of technology with equity; National Educational Technology Forum to be created.
  • NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
  • New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and HEs; National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up.
  • Other intentions of the NEP include:
  • Increasing public investment in education,
  • Setting up NEC (National Education Commission),
  • Increasing focus on vocational and adult education,
  • Strengthening the use of technology, etc.
Key Recommendations of National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy 2020 has recommendations and reforms with respect to the following items:

  • Early Childhood Care and Education
  • The Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act)
  • Curriculum Framework
  • School Exams
  • Higher Educational Institutions [Accreditations & Structure]
  • National Mission on Education [Through Communication & IT]
  • National Research Foundation
  • Education Governance
  • Financing Education
  • Vocational Courses
  • Three Language Formula


Key Points
  • School Education:

    • Universalization of education from preschool to secondary level with 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.
    • To bring 2 crore out of school children back into the mainstream through an open schooling system.
    • The current 10+2 system to be replaced by a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.

      • It will bring the uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child.
      • It will also have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.
  • Class 10 and 12 board examinations to be made easier, to test core competencies rather than memorised facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice.
    • School governance is set to change, with a new accreditation framework and an independent authority to regulate both public and private schools.
    • Emphasis on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools.
    • Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships.
    • Teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/regional language. No language will be imposed on any student.
    • Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
    • A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) 2021, will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

      • By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
  • Higher Education:

    • Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to be raised to 50% by 2035. Also, 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education.

      • The current Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education is 26.3%.
    • Holistic Undergraduate education with a flexible curriculum can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
    • M.Phil courses will be discontinued and all the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level will now be interdisciplinary.
    • Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate Transfer of Credits.
    • Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with IITs, IIMs, to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
    • The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.
    • Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single umbrella body for the entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards. Also, HECI will be having four independent verticals namely,

      • National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation,
      • General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting,
      • Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,
      • National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
    • Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.

      • Over a period of time, every college is expected to develop into either an autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
Vocational Courses 

Recommendations of NEP 2020 with respect to Vocational courses can be listed as follows:

  • Students in classes 9 to 12 must receive vocational education on at least one vocation,
  • Schools should build expert curriculum delivery methods that are aligned with National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) competency levels,
  • Higher Education Institutes must also provide vocational courses that are integrated into undergraduate education programmes.
Three Language Formula

The Policy recommended that the three-language formula be continued and flexibility in the implementation of the formula should be provided. The three-language formula states that state governments should adopt and implement the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking states, and of Hindi along with the regional language and English in the non-Hindi speaking states. 

  • Other Changes:

    • An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
    • The NEP recommended establishing an apex body for education headed by the Prime Minister under the name Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog or National Education Commission.
    • National Assessment Centre- ‘PARAKH’ has been created to assess the students.
    • It also paves the way for foreign universities to set up campuses in India.
    • It emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
    • It also aims to increase the public investment in the Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.
    • Currently, India spends around 4.6 % of its total GDP on education.
National Education Policy 2020 Concerns

Some of the concerns expressed about the NEP 2020 are as follow:

  • The report fails to address and incorporate ideas based on contemporary global thinking like the emphasis on creativity and critical thinking and the need for learning in a non-competitive and non-hierarchical ecosystem and discovering one’s true passion without any sense of fear.
  • Delivering the changes proposed related to Anganwadis may be difficult despite the focus given to early childhood care and schooling.
  • The propositions of volunteer teachers, peer tutoring, rationalisation of the system of schools and sharing of resources do not seem like long-term solutions.
  • Lack of clarity in government strategies regarding the Public Sector like municipal schools, state-run institutions, Kendra Vidyalaya, etc. 
  • The creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) has generated scepticism. The NTA, though envisaged to serve as a premier, expert, autonomous testing organisation to conduct entrance examinations for admissions and fellowships in higher educational institutions may, in reality, lead to loss of autonomy among the universities and departments over admissions.

Education In India
  • Constitutional Provisions:

    • Part IV of Indian Constitution, Article 45 and Article 39 (f) of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), has a provision for state-funded as well as equitable and accessible education.
    • The 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976 moved education from the State to the Concurrent List.

      • The education policies by the Central government provides a broad direction and state governments are expected to follow it. But it is not mandatory, for instance Tamil Nadu does not follow the three-language formula prescribed by the first education policy in 1968.
    • The 86th Amendment in 2002 made education an enforceable right under Article 21-A.
  • Related Laws:

    • Right To Education (RTE) Act, 2009 aims to provide primary education to all children aged 6 to 14 years and enforces education as a Fundamental Right.

      • It also mandates 25% reservation for disadvantaged sections of the society where disadvantaged groups
  • Government Initiatives:

    • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Scheme, Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVS schools), Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV schools) and use of IT in education are a result of the NEP of 1986.

Leave a Reply

Open chat
Hello Dear Aspirant,
Join our whatsapp group here to get Daily Newspapers, Magazines, Monthly, Question Banks and much more..
Just ping us your Name..
See you then..!!!