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The NEW EDUCATION POLICY 2020 was passed on 29 July 2020,
Wednesday by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The
policy aims to bring reform in the schools and higher education systems in
India, as stated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is a
replacement for the National Policy on Education 1986. The aim of the policy is
to create an education system which has a direct contribution in transformation
of the country, to provide high-quality education to all, and to make India a
global knowledge superpower. The cabinet has also approved to change the name
of the HRD ministry to Education Ministry. 

The key highlights of the policy are
as follows:

1.     Mother tongue or local or regional
language to be the medium for instructions till class fifth (or if preferable
till class eighth and beyond). Sanskrit shall e offered at all the levels of
the school and higher education as an option however; the policy clearly states
that no language shall be imposed on any

2.   The
10+2 structure has been replaced with the 5+3+3+4 structure, which
includes 12 years of school and three years of the pre-school. The division is
as follows – Foundational Stage (ages
3-8), Pre-Primary stage (ages 8-11), Preparatory Stage (ages 11-14), and Secondary
Stage (ages 14-18).

3.   School
students now have to only sit for three
exams at classes 3, 5, and 8
, rather than sitting in exams every year. The
assessment for other years will have a regular and formative style that
promotes learning and development as well as tests higher-order skills of the

4.   For
classes 10 and 12, the board exams will continue to take place but they will be
re-designed with a ‘holistic development’ and the standards for the same will
be established by a new national assessment centre – PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge
for Holistic Development.

5.   A
singular regulatory body i.e. Higher Education Council of India (HECI)
will be set up to regulate all higher education institutions except for legal
and medical colleges. The goal of the council is to increase the enrolment rate
in college from 26.3% to 50% (by 2035). The main focus will be on the
institutions that have more than 3000 students.

6.  The
HECI will have 4 independent bodies – National Higher Education Regulatory
for regulation, General Education Council to set the
standards, Higher Education Grants Council for funding, and the National
Accreditation Council
for accreditation.

7.   The
policy aims to reduce the load of the curriculum on the students and allowing
them to become ‘multi-disciplinary’ and ‘multi-lingual’. There will also be no distinction
between arts and science streams, or between the curricular or extracurricular activities,
or between the vocational and academic streams.

8.  It
also proposes a 4 year under graduate programme with multiple exit options for
the students to have flexibility. A multi
disciplinary bachelors’ degree
will be given after completing 4 years of study. A diploma will be given to those who exit the degree after two years. A vocational/professional course degree will be given to those who
leave after 12 months of studying. Also
the MPhil (Masters of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued.

9.  For
the reason of quality, there will be common regulations for both the private
and the public higher education institutions in the country. There will also be
a Common Entrance Exam that will be conducted by the National Testing
(NTA) for admissions to universities and higher education

10. There will also be establishment of more
online courses in regional languages. Virtual
will also be developed and a National Education Technology Forum
(NEFT) will also be created.

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