Salient Features of the Draft Education Policy

The new National Education Policy proposed draft was submitted to the new cabinet minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank earlier this week by the committee headed by the former chief of ISRO, Dr. K Kasturirangan. The major reform proposals of the committee are:

(i) The Ministry of HRD be renamed as Ministry of Education (MoE)
(ii) Reconfiguration in curricular and pedagogical structure with early childhood care and education (ECCE) to become an integral part of school education
(iii) A 5+3+3+4 curricular and pedagogical structure based on cognitive and socio-emotional developmental stages of children is recommended to replace the current 10+2 structure: foundational (3-8 y), preparatory (8-11 y), middle stage (11-15) and secondary stage (15-18)
(iv) Reduction of content load in current school curriculum
(v) Present separation of areas into curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular to be abolished. All subjects including performing arts, music, craft, sports etc. to be part of curriculum
(vi) Active pedagogy focusing on development of life skills suited to contemporary times
(vii) Transformation in teacher education through shutting down of below-par teacher education institutions and moving all teacher preparation programmes into multi-disciplinary universities
(viii) 4 year integrated B.Ed programme to be the minimum qualification programme for teachers 
(ix) Restructuring of higher education through focus on 3 types of institutions: focused on world-class research and high-quality teaching, focused on high-quality teaching across disciplines with significant contribution to research, and high-quality teaching focused on undergraduate education
(x) Re-structuring of UG program of 3 or 4 year duration and having multiple entry and exit options 
(xi) A new apex body Rashtriya Shiksha Ayog is proposed to enable a holistic and integrated implementation of all educational initiatives and programmatic interventions, and to coordinate efforts between the Centre and states
(xii) The National Research Foundation, an apex body is proposed for creating a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education
(xiii) The four functions of standard setting, Funding, Accreditation and Regulation to be separated and conducted by independent bodies: National Higher Education Regulatory Authority as the only regulator for all higher education including professional education
(xiv) Creation of accreditation eco-system led by revamped NAAC
(xv) Professional Standard Setting Bodies for each area of professional education and UGC to transform to Higher Education Grants Commission (HEGC)
(xvi) The private and public institutions will be treated on par and education will remain a ‘not for profit’ activity
(xvii) Further, several new policy initiatives for promoting internationalisation of higher education, strengthening quality open and distance learning, technology integration at all levels of education, adult and lifelong learning and initiatives to enhance participation of under-represented groups, and eliminate gender, social category, and regional gaps in education outcomes are recommended
(xviii) Promotion of Indian and classical languages and setting up three new National Institutes for Pali, Persian and Prakrit
(xix) Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI) has been recommended

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