Indian Government has approved the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 with an aim to make India a global knowledge superpower.


This policy replaces the 34 years old National Policy on Education, 1986. On a large scale, this new policy will bring transformational reforms in both school and higher education. This education policy is based on 21st-century skills and methods of teaching and learning.

This policy is aligned to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and is formed on the base of access, equity, quality, affordability, and accountability. 

Ministry of Human Resource and Development will be known as the Ministry of Education with effect from 29th July 2020.

Salient features of the Policy

  • NEP focuses on for standardization of education starting from preschool to secondary level by the year 2030.
  • This will bring 2 crore children into mainstream who were out of school earlier.
  • Emphasis on foundational literacy and numeracy;
  • Vocational education will start from Class 6 with internship
  • Holistic progress card in place of the report card.
  • Multiple entry/exit will be allowed with certification under the new scheme.
  • Establishment of the National Research Foundation to promote research culture.
  • Affiliation system will be phased out in 15 years with graded autonomy to the colleges.
  • This policy advocates increased use of technology with equity.
  • NEP aims at setting up of gender inclusion fund.
  • Infrastructure support and innovative education centers for bringing the dropouts into the mainstream
  • Introduction of formal and non-formal education modes for tracking the student’s level of learning and growth.
  • Alliance of counselors/well-trained social workers with schools.
  • Access of open learning for classes 3, 5, and 8 through NIOS and State Open Schools.
  • NEP will focus on secondary education programs which will be equivalent to classes 10 and 12, and will also include vocational courses adult literacy etc.
  • Under the new NEP old school curricular 10+2 structure will be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 structure equivalent to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively. This will ensure early childhood care.
  • As per the new system, there will be 12 years of schooling and 3 years of Anganwadi and pre-schooling.
  • National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 will be developed by NCERT.
  • The teachers of preschool and the workers of Anganwadi will have to undergo training in the ECCE pedagogy and curriculum. 
  • Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs will carry out the planning and implementation of ECCE.
  • Students will have the flexibility of choosing the subject from any stream. There will be no separations between arts, sciences curricular or extracurricular activities; vocational or academic streams.
  • NCERT will develop the latest and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21.
  • NEP promotes multi-linguicism in schools as well as in Higher education.
  • The policy is focusing mainly on mother tongue, the local language, regional language as the medium of instruction up to Grade 5, and beyond that.
  • Sanskrit as a subject will be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula. 
  • Apart from Sanskrit, other classical languages and literature of India will also be offered as options.
  • No language will be imposed on any student. At the secondary level, various foreign languages will also be offered.
  • A standardized Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be introduced across the country, and national and state curriculum materials will be developed for students with hearing impairment.
  • Public Investment in Education Sector to reach 6% of GDP.
  • Integration of vocational education.
  • UG education will be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification.  After Completing 1 year - a Certificate will be granted;  after 2 years – a certificate of Advanced Diploma; A Bachelor’s degree after completing 3 years and after 4 years Bachelor’s degree with research.
  • To set up an academic bank of credit for digitally storing academic credits earned from various HEIs which will added in the final degree.
  • 50% Gross Enrolment Ration by 2035.
  • PG program - 1 or 2 years. 
  • Integrated 5-year bachelor's/Master's. 
  • M Phil to be discontinued
  • 100% GER in Pre-School to Secondary Level by 2030
  • To ensure that every child should come out of School adept in at least one Skill.
  • To formulate National Book Promotion Policy


Importance of Board Exam

  • A board exam will be held in two parts one will be objective and the other will be descriptive. The Board exam will be conducted twice a year.
  • Board exams will test the student's core concepts and actual knowledge. 
  • NEP 2020 focuses more on regular and formative assessments instead of summative assessments.
  • An appropriate authority will take the school examinations of all the students in Grades 3, 5, and 8.
  • Board exams will be redesigned with holistic development.
  • PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) - A new National Assessment Centre will be set up as a standard-setting body.

Equitable and Inclusive Education:

  • Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities, and disabilities will be given more preference as per this new policy.
  • For SEDGs - Gender Inclusion Fund and Special Education Zones will be set up.
  • Children with disabilities to fully participate in the regular schooling process that starts from the foundational stage to higher education.
  • To support the needs of children with disabilities, they will be provided with –
  1. cross-disability training center with support educators;
  2. resource centers, 
  3. accommodations, 
  4. assistive devices, 
  5. appropriate technology-based tools and
  6. other support mechanisms.
  • New policy will be aiming at setting up of Bal Bhavans as a special daytime boarding school. 
  • If not in use, the infrastructure of the school can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.

Standard accreditation: 

  • NEP 2020 focuses on separate systems for education policymaking, its regulation, and related academic affairs. 
  • States/UTs to set up an independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA).
  • School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) will be developed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).

Regulatory Body

  • A single regulatory body will be formed by the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) for the entire higher education. This excludes medical and legal education.
  • 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, are the independent verticals of HECI.
  • Public and private higher education institutions will have a common academic standard.
  • The definition of the university will become broad and will include a variety of institutions i.e from research-intensive universities to teaching-intensive universities and autonomous degree-granting colleges.
  • Under the NEP, an affiliation of colleges is planned to be removed in a phasic manner in 15 years.
  • In order to grant autonomy to the colleges, a stage-wise system is planned to be established.
  • Once these steps will be getting implemented in a phasic manner, the colleges would develop into an autonomous degree-granting college/a constituent college of a university.


To preserve Indian languages

  • The new policy recommends the setting up of an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute. These institutes will assist in strengthening Pali, Persian Prakrit, Sanskrit, and all language departments in higher education institutions. 
  • This will ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages.

Minimum qualification of Teacher: 

  • In consultation with NCERT, the NCTE will formulate a National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021.
  • To be eligible for teaching, a minimum degree will be a 4 year integrated B.ED by the year 2030. 
  • To establish a national mission for mentoring comprising a large pool of outstanding senior faculty with the ability to teach in Indian languages. They will be supposed to provide short and long-term mentoring to the teachers in universities and colleges.

Use of Digital platform: 

  • Includes recommendations for the promotion of online education in order to ensure preparedness with alternative modalities of quality education. 
  • A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content, and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after the e-education needs of both school and higher education.
  • Creation of an autonomous body known as the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF). This autonomous body will be providing a platform that will facilitate the free exchange of ideas on how to use the technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, and other related aspects.
Edited by Minu Mishra

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