Cabinet approved National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 by replacing NEP, 1986 & HRD ministry renamed as Ministry of Education


Cabinet approves new National Education PolicyOn July 29, 2020, Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the first education policy of the 21st century i.e. National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which has replaced 34 years old NPE, 1986. This was announced by Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Keshav Javadekar. With this, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) will officially be renamed the Ministry of Education (MoE).


It should be noted that from now onwards the education sector will get allocation of 6% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as compared to 1.7% previously.


NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund, Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.

This new policy aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-4 of 2030 Agenda is aimed at Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030. Policy also aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.


GER in higher education is to be raised to 50% by 2035 with the addition of 3.5 crore seats.

The policy premised on the 5 pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability has been created after the largest consultation and discussion process of its kind in the country. A total of 2.25 lakh suggestions received after the draft was placed in public domain for consultations.


Authorities/Curricular to be set up under NEP 2020:

NCPFECCE: National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8. The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.


NCFSE: A comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education (NCFSE 2020-21) will be developed by the NCERT.

PARAKH: As a part of Assessment reforms in schools, a National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) will be set up as a standard-setting body. Teachers are to be prepared for assessment reforms by 2023.


NRF: The National Research Foundation (NRF) will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.


NCFTE: A comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (NCFTE 2021), will be formulated by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) in consultation with NCERT. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree


NPST: For recruitment of teachers, a common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the NCTE by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs (State Council of Educational Research and Training), teachers and expert organizations.


SSSA: For standard-setting and accreditation for school Education, states/UTs will set up an independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA). The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.


NETF: An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology


IITI: NEP recommends setting up an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit, and strengthening of Sanskrit and all language departments in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs).


HECI: Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. This means that multiple higher education regulators like the University Grants Commission (UGC), All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) will be merged into one. HECI will have four independent verticals :


1. National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation

2. General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting

3. Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding

4. National Accreditation Council ( NAC) for accreditation.


National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy: It will be launched by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025. States will prepare an implementation plan for this. A National Book Promotion Policy will also be formulated.


Now let’s have a look on major changes in school and higher education.


School Education:

There is a major structural reform in the school system from the 10+2 model to 5+3+3+4 model in order to bring 2 crore out of school children back into the mainstream. It will consist of the following:

Foundational stage – It will consist of two parts, 3 years of Anganwadi/pre-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2 and will have flexible, multilevel, activity-based learning.


Age covered: 3-8

Preparatory Stage– An experiential learning across sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities will be introduced in Grades 3-5.


Age covered: 8-11

Middle Stage– It will have subject-oriented teaching and curricular style for Grades 6-8. The school system will integrate vocation education and internships from Class six onwards and activities involving coding will also be introduced at this stage. Students will also participate in a fun project/activity on The Languages of India, under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat initiative.


Age covered: 11-14

Secondary stage- It will also consist of two parts i.e. Grade 9&10 + Grade 11&12 and will have greater depth curricular and student choice of subjects, and option to exit at grade 10 and re-enter at a later stage in grade 11. Several foreign languages will be offered at this level.


Age covered: 14-18

Other Important Changes in School Education:


–Teaching up to at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language.


–Curriculum content will be reduced in each subject to make space for inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis-based learning.


–Mathematics and computational thinking to be given increased emphasis throughout school years.


–Students will get 360 degree holistic report card, which will not only include their marks, but also their skills.


—Bagless days will be encouraged in schools for enrichment activities involving arts, quizzes, sports, and vocational crafts.


–There will be Inclusion of specially-abled children in the schooling process.


—Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across India, and National and State curriculum materials developed for use by students with hearing impairment.


Higher Education:


—Multiple exit Options: 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.

–An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards the final degree earned.

–Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities (MERUs), at par with Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), to be set up as models of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.

— Students who have completed 4 years of bachelors’ programme with research, there would be an option of a one year master’s degree. 5 year integrated bachelors’ and masters’ degree would continue.

–For doctorate, the students who have completed their master’s would be eligible for pursuing Ph.D.

–The M. Phil programme would be discontinued.

Background of NEP, 2020:
In May 2016, Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy under the Chairmanship of Late Thirumanilaiyur Sitapati Ramana (TSR) Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted its report.   Based on this, the HRD Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016’. 

In June 2017, Committee for the Draft National Education Policy was constituted under the Chairmanship of eminent scientist Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the HRD Ministry on 31st May, 2019.  

Evolution of Education Policy:
University Education Commission (1948-49)
Secondary Education Commission (1952-53)

Education Commission (1964-66) under Dr. D. S. Kothari
National Policy on Education, 1968
42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976- Education in Concurrent list
National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986
NPE 1986 Modified in 1992 (Programme of Action, 1992)
T.S.R. Subramaniam Committee Report (May 27, 2016)
Dr. Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan Committee Report (May 31, 2019)