Key highlights of the NEP

Transforming School Education:

  • Ensuring Universal Access at all levels of school education:
    • NEP 2020 emphasizes on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels- pre-school to secondary.
    • About 2 crores out of school children will be brought back into main stream under NEP 2020.
  • Early Childhood Care & Education with new Curricular and Pedagogical Structure:
    • With emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education, the 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
    • This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum, which has been recognized globally as the crucial stage for development of mental faculties of a child.
    • The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.
  • Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy:
    • Recognizing Foundational Literacy and Numeracy as an urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning, NEP 2020 calls for setting up of a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by MHRD.
  • Reforms in school curricula and pedagogy:
    • The school curricula and pedagogy will aim for holistic development of learners by equipping them with the key 21st century skills, reduction in curricular content to enhance essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experiential learning.
    • Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects.
    • There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
    • Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
  • Multilingualism and the power of language:
    • The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
    • Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula.
    • Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options.
    • No language will be imposed on any student.
  • Equitable and Inclusive Education:
    • NEP 2020 aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or background.
    • Special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities.
  • Robust Teacher Recruitment and Career Path:
    • Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes.
    • Promotions will be merit-based, with a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance appraisals and available progression paths to become educational administrators or teacher educators.
    • A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organizations from across levels and regions.
  • School Governance:
    • Schools can be organized into complexes or clusters which will be the basic unit of governance and ensure availability of all resources including infrastructure, academic libraries and a strong professional teacher community.
  • Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education:
    • NEP 2020 envisages clear, separate systems for policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters.
    • States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA).
    • Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability.
    • The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.

Transforming Higher Education:

  • Increase GER to 50 % by 2035:
    • NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035. 3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.
  • Holistic Multidisciplinary Education:
    • The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
    • UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.
    • For example, Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years.
  • Regulation:
    • Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education.
    • HECI to have four independent verticals – National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation, General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting, Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding, and National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.
    • HECI will function through faceless intervention through technology, & will have powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards.
    • Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.
  • Rationalised Institutional Architecture:
    • Higher education institutions will be transformed into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions providing high quality teaching, research, and community engagement.
    • The definition of university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges.

Other Provisions for transformation of educational sector:

  • Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty:
    • NEP makes recommendations for motivating, energizing, and building capacity of faculty through clearly defined, independent, transparent recruitment, freedom to design curricula/pedagogy, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership.
    • Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable
  • Teacher Education:
    • A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT.
    • By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree.
    • Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).
  • Mentoring Mission:
    • A National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty – including those with the ability to teach in Indian languages – who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.
  • Financial support for students:
    • Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs.
    • The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships.
    • Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.
  • Professional Education:
    • All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system.
    • Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.
  • Adult Education:
    • Policy aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.
  • Financing Education:
    • The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.
  • Open and Distance Learning:
    • This will be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER.
    • Measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc., will be taken to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.