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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims

Why in news?

The new National Education Policy was approved by the Union Cabinet, to introduce four-year undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options, abolish the M.Phil. degree, and establish a common higher education regulator with fee fixation for both private and public institutions.

Click Here to read about the NEP 2020 proposals (1st Article)

Language issues

  • Language issues caused an outrage in some states regarding the original draft which had called for mandatory teaching of Hindi to all school students.
  • Now, that clause has been dropped and the final policy document makes it clear that “there will be a greater flexibility in the three-language formula, and no language will be imposed on any State.
  • The three languages learned by children will be the choices of States, regions, and of course the students themselves, so long as at least two of the three languages are native to India.
  • Sanskrit will be offered as an option at all levels of school and higher education.
  • As education was a concurrent subject, with most States having their own school boards, State governments would have to be brought on board for actual implementation of this decision.
  • A National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will ensure basic skills at the Class 3 level by 2025.
  • Students will begin classes on coding as well as vocational activities from Class 6 onwards.
  • Indian knowledge systems, including tribal and indigenous knowledge, will be incorporated into the curriculum in an accurate and scientific manner, said the policy.

Easier exams, no cramming

  • Class 10 and 12 board examinations will be made easier, to test core competencies rather than memorised facts, with all students allowed to take the exam twice.
  • School governance is set to change, with a new accreditation framework and an independent authority to regulate both public and private schools.
  • A broad framework will be set up to regulate fee fixation for private players as well.

More holistic

  • Undergraduate education is to become more holistic and multi-disciplinary, with four-year Bachelors with Research degrees set to become the norm, although students who drop out at earlier stages will receive lesser qualifications as well.
  • The M.Phil degree is being scrapped.
  • The college affiliation system is being phased out over the next 15 years, so that every college develops into either an autonomous degree-granting institution, or a constituent college of a university.
  • There is a new focus on technology in education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the policy recommends expansion of digital offerings for both schools and universities.

-Source: The Hindu, Times of India

February 2024