New Education Policy | Medium of instruction to be mother tongue or regional language till Class V

The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD Ministry to Education Ministry.

July 29, 2020 01:37 pm | Updated 11:18 pm IST

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank addresses a press conference in New Delhi on July 29, 2020. Photo: Twitter/@DrRPNishank

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank addresses a press conference in New Delhi on July 29, 2020. Photo: Twitter/@DrRPNishank

The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has approved the New Education Policy (NEP). The decision was taken at the Cabinet meet on Wednesday.

The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD Ministry to Education Ministry.

The draft New Education Policy 2019 was made public in June last year and the government sought suggestions from various stakeholders, including public till July 31, 2019. The draft faced stiff opposition from various quarters over its three-language formula, four-year B.Ed programme, board examination for Classes V and VIII, among others. The Union Ministry is learnt to have made some changes in the draft.

Here are the live updates from the press conference:

5.10 pm

The policy is aimed at bringing transformational change, not incremental change, says Amit Khare

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank says 2.25 lakh recommendations were received when the draft was made public.

Prakash Javadekar says it is a historic decision.

5.05 pm

National Testing Agency will offer a common exam for entering college. This, however, will not be mandatory, says HRD Ministry spokesperson.

Teachers will be prepared for new assessment system by 2023.

Every child should have one vocational skill by the time they complete school.

4.50 pm

School education

School Education secretary Anita Karwal says there are path breaking reforms in the policy. She lists out the important takeaways in the NEP.

Universalisation of early childhood care education has been included. NCERT will develop curriculum, she says.

There will be a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.

Subject introduction and exploration will be in middle school

Coding will be taught from Class VI.

There will be no rigid separation between arts and sciences, curricular and extra-curricular. All subjects like music will be taught.

Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya will be extended to class 12

Vocational integration will be from class 6, internships will be included. Students can intern with local crafts and trades for 10 days.  For example, a student can work at a local laundry.

The NEP plans to reduced the importance of Board exams. Board exams to be split into two parts - objective and descriptive.

Medium of instruction should be mother tongue or regional language till class 5, preferably till class 8.

Report cards will include students' self-assessment as well as by teachers.

4.45 pm

Expenditure on Education

While the current expenditure on education stands at 4 per cent of GDP, the New Education Policy envisages to increase it to 6 per cent. Central and State governments will work together to achieve expenditure of 6% of GDP on education, Education Secretary Amit Khare says.

Technology will be used, but every child will be taken on board, he says. Technology will be used in education planning, teaching, learning and assessment, administration and management and regulation.

Many times, scientific institutions tend to focus on English or Hindi, but we will now develop e-courses in regional languages, he says.

4.40 pm

Salient features of the NEP

There will be a multiple entry and exit system through academic bank of credit, says Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare.

Students will be able to take a sabbatical and return to their studies after a period of time to be determined by the Higher Education Commission.

Students will be able to choose major and minor subjects. There will be graded autonomy for colleges.

There will be fee fixation within broad regulatory framework, he adds.

4.30 pm

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar says new education policy has been approved by the Cabinet.

Higher Education secretary Amit Khare says the country has got a new education policy after 34 years.

The National Policy on Education was created in 1986 and has been continuing till today, Mr. Khare says.

We approached nearly 2.5 lakh gram panchayats for consultation on NEP 2020, he explains adding that there was wide consultation, not only with State governments and academia, but also the common people.


NEP: The story so far

A panel led by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K Kasturirangan had submitted the draft of the new NEP to Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ when he took charge last year.

The draft was then put in public domain to seek feedback from various stakeholders and over two lakh suggestions were received by the HRD Ministry about the same.

The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. A new education policy was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto ahead of the 2014 general election.

The drafting experts also took into account the report of a panel headed by former cabinet secretary T.S.R. Subramanian and formed by the HRD Ministry when it was being headed by Union Minister Smriti Irani.

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