The new National Education Policy, prepared by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, is likely to be rolled out in December, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh has said.
Inaugurating a national academic meet organised by the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram (BVK) on Monday as part of the Navati celebrations of its director P. Parameswaran, Dr. Singh said that the much-delayed policy, which involved ‘threadbare discussions’ with various stakeholders, was in its last stages of preparation. He added that the policy will correct the course of the education system ‘that continued to follow a colonial mindset.’
“Post-independence, many academicians followed the footsteps of British and other western scholars, who were deliberately denigrating the Indian culture. The biggest challenge that faced the government as well as the education system was figuring out how to decolonise the Indian mind,” he said.
According to him, the ongoing efforts to improve the higher education sector hinged on a major overhaul of the primary education system in a manner that upheld cultural values and improved employability. Stating that educational standards were falling, even while literacy levels improved, Dr. Singh stressed on the need to make higher education affordable and accessible for all sections.
He said that only around 25% of the population had access to higher education, while the corresponding proportions were much higher in the United States, Germany and China. The Minister pointed out that the government aimed at removing social and regional disparities in the field of higher education.
Dr. Singh also raised the issue of the huge number of vacancies in teaching posts that existed in educational institutions. Around 4,000 posts were lying vacant in Delhi University, he said. The situation called for greater utilisation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools.
Delivering the keynote address, Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) chairman Braj Bihari Kumar lamented that the education system has failed to create an ‘informed and thinking society.’ “We continue to view ourselves from a Euro-American scholarly view point,” he said. BVK president M. Mohandas presided over the function. Richard Hay, MP, BVK director P. Parameswaran, academic Dean K.N. Madhusudanan Pillai, secretary K. Sivaprasad, Navati celebrations committee patron Sivadas and Prajna Pravah national convener J. Nandakumar were also present on the occasion.