New National Education Policy – Key Highlights

The Government of India announced New National Education Policy 2020 on July 29, 2020.  This comprehensive education policy proposes groundbreaking changes in the fundamental framework of education at various levels in the country, and replaces the old education policy which was adopted way back in the year 1986.

The NEP 2020 lays down the framework for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country. The new policy targets a 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education in next 10 years (by the year 2030) and also envisions universalization of education from pre-school to secondary level. The structure of school education has been overhauled with the addition of pre-schooling provision for kids. 

The policy also aims at increasing the higher education GER to 50% by 2035. The NEP 2020 intends to boost the spending on education by enhancing the education budget to a level of 6% of the GDP. As per the policy document, the Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in the Education sector to reach the targeted budget of 6% of GDP at the earliest.

Further, the NEP 2020 has made provision for a single regulator in higher education. This means that current regulators like UGC, AICTE etc will be replaced by one central regulator (by the name of HECI or Higher Education Commission of India) for all domains of higher education. 

The NEP 2020 also brings flexibility for students to choose subjects in place of streams for their higher education. This aims at strengthening the cross-functional study environment and developing critical thinking amongst students. Also, multiple entry and exit options will be there for students in the form of certificate, diploma and degree during their higher education.

In this article, Buddy4Study enlists key elements of the New Education Policy which is also termed as NEP 2020. 

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NEP 2020 – Key Highlights

S No. NEP 2020 – Major Highlights 
1Existing 10+2 schooling structure to change into a new 5+3+3+4 structure with 12 years of schooling and 3 years of Anganwadi/ Pre-schooling
2No rigid separation between science, commerce and arts, curricular and extracurricular activities, vocational and academic streams in schools
3Vocational Education to start from Class 6 with Internships
4Teaching upto at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language
5Assessment reforms with a 360-degree Holistic Progress Card, tracking Student Progress for achieving Learning Outcomes
6GER in higher education to be raised to 50% by 2035; 3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education
7Higher Education curriculum to have flexibility of subjects
8Multiple Entries/Exits to be allowed with appropriate certification
9Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate transfer of credits
10National Research Foundation to be established to foster a strong research culture
11Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education – Single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions
12Affiliation System to be phased out in 15 years. Graded autonomy will be granted to colleges
13NEP 2020 advocates increased use of technology with equity; National Educational Technology Forum to be created
14NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups
15New Policy promotes multilingualism in schools as well as higher education; National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up

New National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 – Higher Education 

The NEP 2020 has provisions for flexible UG courses with multiple entry and exit options for students. For example, a student can exit just after 1st year of graduation with a certificate in hand. Similarity, an exit option after 2nd year comes with an Advanced Diploma and 3rd year exit will be conferred with a Bachelor’s Degree. A new addition is the 4th year of UG programme which comes with a tag of Bachelor’s Degree with Research.

The National Education Policy 2020 abolishes multiple regulatory bodies in higher education such as UGC, AICTE etc. Instead, all the existing regulatory bodies, except for those dealing in medical and law education, will come under one umbrella called The Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). This central regulator will have four arms to work on different functions – Regulation, Funding, Standard Setting and Accreditation. 

Further, the new policy focuses on providing graded autonomy to affiliated institutions over the next 15 years. 

The policy also makes a provision for a central body which will work on online learning options and enhance the use of technology in higher education so that it becomes more accessible for masses and also remain in sync with the evolving needs of students. 

Read more  for details on changes that National Education Policy 2020 brings in Higher Education.  

New National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 – School Education 

School education will witness a structural change under the New Education Policy. Besides introducing the 3-year pre-schooling for every child, the NEP also focuses on skill building from very early stages.

As per individual skills and interests, the students will be provided with options of choosing vocational courses from Class 6 itself. Further, the students will also be allowed to do internships as part of the vocational programme. This will also help students excel in their areas of interest.

Another big change is the flexibility of choosing subjects at Higher Secondary level. As per the New Education Policy, there will not be any rigidity of selecting streams like Science, Arts or Commerce. Now, students will be able to choose a set of subjects that they are interested in. This will help nurture their interest and also lead to developing critical thinking among school students. 

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Thus, the focus will be to help students in learning ‘how to think’ instead of ‘what to think’.

The NEP 2020 also aims at a 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio in school education by the year 2030.

Read more for details on changes that NEP 2020 brings in School Education.