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Regional languages Are Vital to Indians’ Success

Context

To commemorate the completion of two years since the launch of National Education Policy 2020, the union Home Minister recently launched a slew of education and skill development initiatives.

Relevance

GS Paper 1: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Mains Question

Should Hindi be India’s official language? Comment on the linguistic diversity and cultural significance of Indian languages. (250 words)


Background to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020:

  • An NEP is a comprehensive framework for guiding the country’s educational development.
  • The Education Commission, led by D S Kothari, recommended the first education policy in 1968.
  • The second education policy was implemented in 1986, and it was succeeded by the third education policy, NEP 2020.
  • The NEP 2020 was drafted in response to the recommendations of a panel led by former ISRO chief Kasturirangan.
  • The policy is a comprehensive framework for elementary to higher education, as well as vocational training, in both rural and urban India, with the goal of transforming the Indian education system by 2040.

The following are the key takeaways from the NEP 2020:

  • It proposes major changes such as: o opening up Indian higher education to foreign universities; o disbanding the UGC and the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE); o introducing a four-year multidisciplinary undergraduate programme with multiple exit options; and o discontinuing the M Phil programme.
  • The policy in school education focuses on o Overhauling the curriculum, easier Board exams, reducing the syllabus to retain core essentials, and emphasising experiential learning and critical thinking.
    • “5+3+3+4” design (rather than 10+2), which corresponds to the age groups 3-8 years (foundational stage), 8-11 years (preparatory), 11-14 years (middle), and 14-18 years (secondary).
    • Teaching students in their mother tongue or regional language (up to Class 5)
  • Recently, Union Minister of Home Affairs attended a ceremony marking the second anniversary of National Education Policy 2020.

The following initiatives were launched at the ceremony:

  • More than 100 National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)-aligned future skill qualifications will be developed in six key areas:
    • Industry 4.0 and Automation in Industries (Manufacturing/Service) o Infrastructure Connectivity (EVs and Drones) o Electronics Manufacturing & VLSI
    • Technology Infrastructure, including 5G and Cyber Security o Emerging Digital Technologies
  • Indigenous research and development
  • Vidya Amrit Portal: It is a Digital Project that aims to scale up the micro-improvements occurring in school education across the country.
  • National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA): Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): This programme will train an initial cadre of high-quality ECCE teachers in Anganwadis.
  • School Innovation Policy: The National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Promotion Policy directs school education systems on various measures that can be implemented to promote a learning environment, regardless of age.
  • National Credit Framework (NCrF) : The NCrF is being implemented at the school level, beginning with Class 5. It proposes to incorporate academic credit into the entire education system, beginning with elementary school.
  • For assessment, the credit framework will give equal weight to academic and extracurricular activities such as sports, yoga, and music.

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September 2022
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