Session I : An Introduction to National Education Policy: Vision and Challenges 

Speaker Profile

Prof. Pankaj Arora

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education,

University of Delhi

An alumnus of the Central Institute of Education of University of Delhi from where he obtained his PhD, Prof. Pankaj Arora is particularly interested in the field of “social science education” and “adolescent education”. He has previously worked in teaching and administrative capacities at the Directorate of Education, Govt. of NCT of Delhi. A member of the editorial board of the Journal of Education and Human Development, Prof. Arora has over 25 years of experience in the field of education.

Session Summary

20th August 2020, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The discussion started with a brief history of education. Prof. Arora related the evolution of education with the Industrial Revolution discussing the following points:        

  1. First Industrial Revolution in 1750 and Macaulayan model of education was introduced in 1833.

  2. Wood’s dispatch in 1854 and the second Industrial revolution in 1870.

  3. Kothari Commission in 1966 and 3rd Industrial revolution in 1969.

  4. 1968 First Education Policy.

  5. 1986 Second Education Policy.

  6. Dr. Kalam’s vision of education.

  7. New Education Policy 2020 and 4th Industrial Revolution.

According to Prof. Arora, NEP 2020 wants to get rid of Macaulayan-era education and associated mental slavery of English education and its celebration. Rather, it aims to promote education rooted in Indian knowledge system. It strives for the promotion of Indian languages and desires a major shift in teacher education.

After that, the focus of the discussion was on 3 broad areas of School Education, Higher Education and Teacher Education discussing the following details:

School Education

1Important structural shift from 10+2 to 5+3+3+4.   

  • First five years for foundational education for 3-8 ages. In this stage focus is on foundations and medium of instruction must be mother tongue. This is the concept given by Mahatma Gandhi (Buniyadi Shikhsha).

  •  Next three years for 8-11 ages. This is the stage of concept learning.

  •  Next three years for 11-13 ages. This is the stage of perspective building.

  •  Next four years for 14-18 ages. This is the stage of abstract learning.     


2. ​​Policy advocates formal schooling for children aged 3 to 18 years. The emphasis on early childhood care is given in the NEP. Role and importance of Anganwadi has been enhanced. Now, students can choose multiple disciplines rather than being confined to a single stream. Vocational education after class 6th will be compulsory. This again is the Gandhian model. Inclusion of vocational education is a great step towards“dignity of labour”.

3. Evaluation shift: New evaluation pattern for assessment of concept learning instead of rote learning has been emphasised. Instead of the report card, progress cards will be made to gauge children’s progress and learning outcome. Assessment of competencies and personality development of children will be the focus.

Higher Education:

  1. There will be provision for multiple entries and exits. Digital lockers will be provided for credits. Depending upon the credits, certificate and diploma degrees will be awarded.
  2. Multi-disciplinary institutes will be created so that students can learn what they want to learn and have a holistic academic development.
  3. Autonomy: Higher education institutes will have autonomy and flexibility to revise the courses as well as introduce new courses.

Teacher Education:

Currently there exist 17 teacher education programmes. According to the new NEP, only 3 teacher education programmes will exist. These are

  • 4 years integrated bachelor's and B.Ed.

  • 1 year B.Ed programme for Master’s degree holders.

  • 2 year B.Ed programme for  Bachelor’s degree holders.

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Details of key points from the Q and A session:

  • As per NEP 2020, there will be an allocation of 6% of GDP to education. Are we missing a concrete plan or proposal as to how this might be actualized?

    • Response: India is currently spending 4.5% of GDP on education. Kothari commission gave a recommendation of spending 6% of GDP on education and the same is suggested in NEP 2020. Countries like Japan spend 7% of GDP and Malaysia spends 11% of GDP on education. NEP 2020 shows its determination to strive for 6% allocation. It surely needs will-power and the Government of India and State governments have to rationalize their spending in other areas to achieve this target.

  • The policy has opened the doors for foreign universities to have campuses in India. Will they provide reservation to economically poor students?

    • Response: No. In India, private universities are not providing any reservation as they are not bound to provide the reservation. It is expected that the advent of state-of-the-art foreign institutions will raise competition in the education space and consequently benefit students by providing better quality education at affordable fees.

  • Are we moving towards the privatization of education? What is the significant change in the governance of higher education?

    • Response: Policy is opening the doors for foreign universities but it is not mentioned anywhere that the government is withdrawing subsidies and funds from existing institutes. We have to wait for the plan of action for more clarification. Governance for higher education to be brought under one large umbrella commission- Higher Education Regulatory Commission. It will have 4 bodies: NERC, NAC, Grants Council, Professional Council.

This session was moderated by Sharad Chaudhary and Sushant Sulabh while Palvi Singla and Ranveer Singh were the rapporteurs.

Total attendees: 45.