National Education Policy (NEP 2020)

National Education Policy (NEP)

It has been a practice to have Commissions and Committees established on education even by the British well before the independence details of which is presented below. The earliest Charles Wood Despatch was commissioned in 1854 and the last, The Sargent Plan was commissioned just before the independence in the year 1944.

Name of Committees/ Commissions Year
Charles Wood Despatch 1854
Hunter Commission 1882
Raleigh Commission 1902
Sadler Commission 1917
Hartog Commission 1929
Sargent Plan 1944

Since the independence in 1947, the Government of India sponsored a variety of programmes concerning education in both the rural and urban areas and commissioned a number of commissions and committees over a period of time details of which is presented below:

  • University Education Commission (1948–1949)
  • Secondary Education Commission (1952–1953)
  • University Grants Commission and
  • Kothari Commission (1964–66)

Based on the recommendations of these Commissions, a number of new establishments, such as Indian Institutes of Education (IITs), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and host of other institutions were established. Based on the Kothari Commission, the then Prime Minister of India, announced the first National Policy on Education in the year 1968 which had emphasis on restructuring. Fulfilling the compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 as specified in the Constitution of India, three language formula in secondary education, expenditure on education to increase to six percent of the GDP were the other far reaching recommendations of Kothari Commission. Details of the subsequent policy formation is presented below:

Prime Minister Policy Year
Indira Gandhi First 1968
Rajiv Gandhi Second 1986
Narendra Modi Third 2020

In addition to Commissions and Committees, a number of centrally sponsored schemes were also launched by the federal governments from time to time which are listed below:

  • Restructuring and Reorganization of Teacher Education (1987).
  • Operation Blackboard (1987–98) aimed to improve teachers and physical resources in primary schools.
  • Minimum Levels of Learning (1991) specifying achievement at various stages and revision of textbooks
  • District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) (1993) with emphasis on decentralized planning and management and school effectiveness.
  • National Programme for Nutritional Support to Primary Education (1995): Noon Meal Scheme with a provision to provide a cooked meal every day for all children in Classes 1–5 of all government, government-aided and local body schools.
  • The movement to Educate for All (2000) aimed to achieve universal primary education by 2010 through micro-planning and school-mapping exercises, bridging gender and social gaps through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Programme.
  • Fundamental Right (2001) involved the provision of free and compulsory education, declared to be a basic right for children aged between 6 and 14 years which subsequently enactment of Right to Education in 2009.

The recently adopted National Policy of Education in 2020 has the following features (downloaded from the internet):

  • Schooling to begin from the age of 3 years
  • A Single Overarching Body of Higher Education
  • Mother tongue to be instated as medium of instruction
  • Separation between subject streams to be blurred
  • The Return of the FYUP Programme and No More Dropouts

Meaning of Universalisation in the Light of the National Policy on Education 2020

National Curriculum Framework

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