New National Education Policy 2020 gets Cabinet Approval & MHRD is now Ministry of Education


Union Cabinet has approved the new National Education Policy, NEP  and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) would now be referred to as Ministry of Education. The announcement was made by Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar at the National Media Centre on July 29, 2020. The idea behind changing the name is to give a clearer definition to the ministry’s work.

Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’

It is significant to note that the new National Education Policy has been drafted by  committee headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, and replaces the one formulated in 1986, last modified in 1992. The draft policy was released last year and has undergone several deliberations since then, including the latest change on making it ready for an education system suited to a Covid-19 world.

National Education Policy 2020 will bring transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country, with an aim to make “India a global knowledge superpower,” here are a few highlights:

School Education

  • Ensuring universal access at all levels of school education – Infrastructure support, innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream, tracking of students and their learning levels, facilitating multiple pathways to learning.
  • Early childhood care & education with new curricular and pedagogical structure – NEP deals with revision of the curriculum and pedagogical structure of 10+2 system to  5+3+3+4 system with ages 3-18, focus to be on language and mathematics in Class I to III. The policy also states the medium of instruction to be in mother or local  language till Class V and preferably till Class VIII and beyond.
  • Attaining foundational literacy and numeracy – A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.
  • Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy – Holistic development of learners by equipping them with the key 21st century skills, vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
  • Multilingualism and the power of language, robust teacher recruitment and career path and more reforms.

Higher Education

  • Increase GER to 50 % by 2035 – NEP 2020 seeks to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education  from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.
  • Holistic multidisciplinary education – The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate  education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of  subjects, integration of vocational education and  multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
  • Regulation – Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up, HECI to have  four independent verticals  — National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,  and National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation.
  • Education goes global – Select universities (e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world) will be permitted to operate in India. A legislative framework facilitating such entry will be put in place, and such universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India. High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries, and similarly.
  • More reforms – Focus on teacher education, mentoring, technology, financial support, languages and more reforms.
Prof Mahadeo Jaiswal

“We welcome the move made by The Cabinet to rename the HRD ministry to the Education ministry as the role of the department is to further and provide education. Allowing global institutes to set up campuses in India is also a positive move as it will increase competition because it will open up our education system and it will also help sustain high talent in the country as students don’t have to move out to pursue education. Allowing technical institutes to become multi-disciplinary will help IIMs and IITs to start other departments like medical etc and make their size bigger and allow them to admit more students. This will enable them to compete with the elite institutes of the world and become at par with them in the coming years. Overall, the changes have been made according to the global system of education. This will also help attract foreign students to India and help the economy as well.” — Prof Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur 

Ramananda SG

“The National Education policy has certainly made bold and historic reforms towards the quality of education and improving student learning outcomes. It is not only designed to directly address the gaps which were prevalent earlier but also recognises the importance of EdTech as a medium. The announcement regarding 6% public investment of the GDP in education sector will provide a much needed boost to the quality and scope of education in the country. In a bid to ramp up digital and education becoming multilingual, the accessibility will increase across the country as institutes will introduce multi-disciplinary platforms. Integration of creative combinations of subjects, specialised learning, character development, blended learning, inter disciplinary methods, and flexible curriculums will help strengthen emotional intelligence, critical thinking and problem solving skills of students making headway for a bright future in the 21st century.”– Ramananda  SG,Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Pearson India 

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