Hows and Whys of the National Educational Policy 2020

Education in India is aimed at improving the socio-economic framework which delineates a community with diverse demands. The government has chiefly concentrated its efforts on improving the literacy rate of India since independence by introducing free and compulsory education from six to fourteen years under the Right to Education Act.


India has a prominent position in the global education scenario with various challenges and objectives. Notably, there are 250 million school going students which is the highest in the world. It also has one of the largest higher education apparatus wherein around 37.4 million are enrolled.

Many initiatives have been taken by the Government of India like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Saksharta Abhiyan, etc to equitize learning opportunities for everyone coming from different economic backgrounds. This has led to more number of students getting affordable education and imbibing skills to carve a great future for themselves.

The need for education policy in India draws back to 1964 when one of the congress MP criticized the then ruling government for lacking a vision and philosophy for education. Subsequently, the first National Education Policy (NEP) was introduced under the Indira Gandhi government in 1968 which emphasized on providing education to all citizens. The policy was revised in 1986 bringing out slight changes and finally, NEP 2020 was approved by the Union Cabinet of India replacing the NEP 1986

The NEP 2020 was brought into existence to transform India’s education system by 2040 by integrating reforms in both the secondary sector and higher education. It is to bring forth a systematized education which aims to address the current developmental schemes. It proposed revamping all the educational structures including its regulation and governance that is at par with the aspirations of the 21st-century pedagogy. Dr. Kasturirangan headed the drafting committee of NEP who strongly believes in diversifying education to suit multiple needs and requirements.

Now, let’s look at the proposed changes that have taken place regarding the enhancement of the educational framework.

NEP 2020 –School Education

  • The present 10+2 educational structure is replaced by 5+3+3+4.

  • Students will only attend exams in grade 3, 5 and 8

  • The board exam will be made easier by giving students the option to take exams twice a year. The exam will be divided into two parts, objective and descriptive

  • Vocational skills and coding to be introduced from class 6

  • Regional language or mother tongue to be the medium of instruction at least up to grade5 and preferably till grade8

  • Report cards will include a comprehensive report on skills rather than just marks or scores.

  • The curriculum will focus on core concepts that help students in developing curricular as well as co-curricular skills.

  • Besides mid-day meal, breakfasts to be provided

NEP 2020- Higher Education

  • Multidisciplinary education in undergraduate programs and it has extended from 3 to 4 years with multiple exit options. Students will be eligible to get a certificate if he wishes to leave after one year, a diploma after 2 years, degree after 3 years. After the completion of 4 years, the student will be awarded a degree with ‘research’.

  • M Phil courses to be discontinued

  • The National Testing Agency will conduct entrance exams for admission to all universities except for JEE and NEET.

  • Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) will store the academic credits of students digitally.

  • Establishing Higher Education Council of India (HECI) to regulate accreditation and academic standard

  • Increase Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) higher by 50% by 2035


NEP 2020-Teacher Education

  • The minimum qualification for teachers will be four years integrated B.Ed degree by 2023

  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) to formulate National Curricular Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE) by 2021 and National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) by 2022.


NEP 2020- Other Important Objectives

  • Establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to improve education in disadvantaged regions

  • National Educational Technology Forum, a platform to discuss and exchange ideas on the usage of technology in education.

  • PARAKH, a National Assessment Centre

  • Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation, institute for Pali and Prakrit- establishment of new language institution.

  • Increase in education expenditure from 4.6% to 6% GDP.

These are the strategic changes that happened in the education sector which certainly requires proper implementation. If done in the right way, the nation would achieve its potential and become self-reliant in several areas and the education will become inclusive.

Vinod Kakumanu

Vinod Kakumanu

Founder & Consultant - School Serv

Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.

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