national education policy

When we sit and talk about the social and ethical problems in India, we end up saying education can be the solution to the struggles of Indians. When we see India’s growing visibility in the global arena, we know that we hold lots of potential as a developing nation. India has the highest percentage of the working population, and in the coming years, it is about to grow. Therefore in changing the landscape of knowledge and education, we need to up-skill, which begins with the schools and colleges. A report says that in the next 20 years, Artificial Intelligence will take over 20% of the present jobs. Then the question is, how are we going to educate our youth for futuristic jobs? The change is not only witnessed in technology but also in economics, arts, humanities, health, and many more areas. When everything is changing around, how can we sustain the stagnant education system of the country? Therefore, here we have discussed all you need to know about National Education Policy in India 2020.

How have education policies evolved in India?

The education policy of any nation decides on the framework, parameters, and principles of how they will undertake the system of educational development in the country for the next few decades. In the year 1968, the first National Educational Plan was tabled in the parliament and passed. Till today there have been only three educations policies and one revised version of it. The following are the timeline and highlights of each NEP since 1964.

National Policy on Education 1968

The education policy of 1968 was the major foundational stone for the Indian education system. It was the first framework on education and school system post-Independence. The plan surfaced the need for compulsory and free education for the children until the age of 14. It also valued the teachers and worked to increase the status of teachers in society by providing education and emolument for the teachers. The policy worked on the development of regional and Indian languages. The policy attempted to work on the equal education opportunity of the nationals. Research and educational development was also promoted.

National Policy on Education 1986

The next important milestone on the path of a better education system in India was the education Policy of 1986. The policy set the standards for Higher education in India and regularized the school system. The Education System of the nation was reorganized in different stages. The option of distance learning was open. The focus was also given towards vocational education. New rules for teachers’ training came into existence. Many rural universities were set up. The students were encouraged to take technical and management studies. The policymakers also aimed at research, innovation, and development.

Draft National Education Policy 2019

After the gap of 33 years, the thinkers of the Indian educational system drafted the framework of the new education policy in 2019. This is the spinal cord of NEP 2020. The draft was well received and appreciated for the drastic changes in the education system that parallel the global educational landscape. It was discussed and finally the final version, which was passed by the parliament in known as National Education Policy 2020.

What is the purpose of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020?

The New National Education Policy 2020 is the most significant step to take the country’s education pattern to another level.  The prime motto of the new education policy is the accessibility, equality, accountability, affordability, and quality of education.  Some of the basic highlights are bulleted below:

  • Bridging the gap between the skill and education
  • Break the stereotype divide of arts, commerce and science streams of education in high school
  • Reorganizing the schooling years
  • The more inclusive education system
  • Transparency and quality inspection for all-round development of students
  • Foreign Universities is allowed to set up their branches in India
  • Indian and ancient languages on focus again

Major reforms in School Education

There are several reforms in School education to nurture school students. The policy has changed the pedagogy and curriculum structure. This shows major changes in national education policy 2020.

  • Early Childhood-care

Children of age below 5 years will now be taught in the pre-school system. This age is very critical for overall brain development. The new education policy has made it mandatory that children between the ages of 3 to 8 years be attending playschools. This will nurture their psychomotor abilities, early numeracy, literacy, and cognitive development. They could be enrolled in schools at the age of 6yr. 

  • An effort to reduce the dropout rate

Under the Right to Education Act, children have the right to get free and compulsory education. The schemes like Samagra Siksha (former Sarva Siksha Abhiyan) have played a significant role in providing schooling in rural areas. However, the dropout rate has been sky high when the children reached Grade 5 or 6. To address this issue, new initiatives of open schooling, adult education, and many others are about to be tabled.

  • New academic year design

The new education system has the design of 5 years + 3 years + 3 years + 4 years for the entire 15years of academic life till you complete 12th grade in school. It means that the first 5 years (Pre-school, class 1 and 2) of a child’s academic life would be foundational and play school-oriented. The next three years (class 3 to 5) would be a preparatory education.  Middle school is considered when the child is in class 6 to 8.  Lastly, grades between 9 to 12 come under secondary schooling.

  • Essential learning and critical thinking

The policy also aims to reduce the hefty curriculum to only essential learning. It is to promote critical thinking. It is need of the hour as we are stepping forward to Artificial Intelligence in all aspects of our lives.

  • Practical learning

When you do more, you learn more. This method of learning has entered the school curriculum now. It is not only science experiments and lab classes but also promotes innovative and constructional inventions.

  • Flexible course choices

The change in course choices will empower the students. There won’t be any permanent separation between extra-curriculum, co-curriculum, and mainstream curriculum. The activities will be distributed in different stages of education.  

  • Multilingualism

The academic life should be in line with what we are outside the school. Language plays an important role in a child’s education. This policy allows the usage and development of Indian languages mentioned in the eighth schedule of our constitution.

  • National Curriculum Framework for School Education

Under NCERT, a new wing of the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCFSE) is to set up. This department will develop an extensive curriculum for school education. Based on this, national books will be formed and published.

  • Local content in textbooks

National books will also be enriched by specific local content. NCERT and SCERT are together working on the development of books on this line.

  • Gifted students

The trained teachers will encourage gifted children to pursue singular interests. They need special attention and care for their growth.

  • Teacher deployment and grow as professionals

The new set of the framework has been set for up-grading teachers as well. The National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) have been set up for the formation of the guidelines of the same. This covers the approach to be followed by the teachers, need of special educators and many more.

Major reforms in Higher Education

There are significant changes in national education policy to address the problems of higher education. The reforms are pointed below:

  • High-quality Universities and colleges

The policy supports more multidisciplinary courses in college and university levels. The faculty and institution are moving towards autonomy. The policy supports the growth of integrity between faculties and leadership positions for more development. There would be a single regulator for higher education.

  • Multidisciplinary Education

The policy also aims to merge humanities and arts with science and technology as the ethical and aesthetic aspect of education is vital along with tech growth. The course years should be adjusted according to its design.

  • Learning Optimization

The institutions will design the curriculum and pedagogy of higher education. There will be a flexible choice based credit system to ensure optimal learning.

  • Inclusion 

There will be many parameters to make our higher education system inclusive. The policy opens up new ways to make the migration of students easy. New Indian language courses are about to come up. There is also a considerable attempt to bridge the gap between educational background and job opportunities.

  • Colleges Teachers’ education

The teachers in the stream of higher education have to be highly educated first. Therefore the Supreme Court has given strict order against any paid degree. The teachers can take 4 years of integrated B.Ed course. The department to Higher Education In Indian is also offering various education programs. There online platforms like SWAYAM or DIKSHA, which is excellent for enriching learning for in-service teachers.

New advancement

Integration of technology and education

With the high pace of new educational global space, India is not left behind. Indian has exhibited its space technology, defense technology, and much more cutting edge tech development. To continue the growth and to stand firm next to the world’s most significant powers, we need to train our students. In this way,  every brain will be allowed to think beyond and innovative in all aspects of life. Therefore, this policy has started to integrate technology with education from the school level itself. It gives a better understanding of subject matter and retains in the brain for a more extended period. The classrooms are becoming smart classrooms throughout the nation. There are many other platforms to aid school education.

Digital education

When schools are not open at this period, all the schools are catering to the students via digital media. We were not ready for it, yet somehow we are surviving. The policy covers the scope of digital education, which could have smooth digital platforms for classroom learning form home. This will reach education to the rural areas as well.

The revival of Indian and ancient  Languages

The overdependence on English is sometimes scary as the usage of our language is not promoted. This threatens the culture and language history of our great country. Therefore, this policy focuses on the revival of Indian languages in the school education system. New institutions are to be set up for Pali, Prakrit, and Persian languages.

Major challenges

  • Under the school education reforms, it is vital to cover pre-school children under RTE however, it does not seem feasible in the near future as the infrastructure and vacancies of teachers are not enough to hold it.
  • The idea of Rashtra Siksha Aayog is a novel ides of our country, but it has to face many administrative and practical problems. 
  • The policy gives a hint of higher technological advancement, but it is silent on the vital programs of Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, cyberspace, and more.
  • The policy aims to target 6% public spending, but the mobilization of this amount is complicated and full hurdles.
  • The policy permits the foreign universities to set up in the country, but, it is silent on higher Education Funding Agency.


All the plans and policies look great on paper; however, we stumble on its implementation. The education policy of 1968 fell on the face because of the fund crisis and unrealistic goals. Education is a concurrent subject that means, both center and state will be involved in the minute guideline formation and implementation. Our government has targeted 2040 to achieve all the goals pointed down in this policy. This is a basic framework and their scope of evolvement and betterment. The HRD ministry is ready to set up subject-wise committees at both levels. These committees will involve renowned think tanks of the countries, including NCERT, Central Advisory Board of Education, national boards, state boards, and National Tasting Agency. 


National Education Policy in India 2020 is the new framework to guide the educational development of the country. It is essential to understand the growing need and expectation of futuristic jobs and to skill young people to grab the opportunity yet to come. There are also many schemes for skill development, both national and regional benefits like AP Mukhyamantri Yuvanestham Scheme. Therefore, we have updated all that you needed to know about the new education policy, which is ready to bring revolution in India.

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