The NEW EDUCATION POLICY 2020 was passed on 29 July 2020, Wednesday by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The policy aims to bring reform in the schools and higher education systems in India, as stated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It is a replacement for the National Policy on Education 1986. The aim of the policy is to create an education system which has a direct contribution in transformation of the country, to provide high-quality education to all, and to make India a global knowledge superpower. The cabinet has also approved to change the name of the HRD ministry to Education Ministry. 

The key highlights of the policy are as follows:
1.     Mother tongue or local or regional language to be the medium for instructions till class fifth (or if preferable till class eighth and beyond). Sanskrit shall e offered at all the levels of the school and higher education as an option however; the policy clearly states that no language shall be imposed on any student.
2.   The 10+2 structure has been replaced with the 5+3+3+4 structure, which includes 12 years of school and three years of the pre-school. The division is as follows – Foundational Stage (ages 3-8), Pre-Primary stage (ages 8-11), Preparatory Stage (ages 11-14), and Secondary Stage (ages 14-18).
3.   School students now have to only sit for three exams at classes 3, 5, and 8, rather than sitting in exams every year. The assessment for other years will have a regular and formative style that promotes learning and development as well as tests higher-order skills of the students.
4.   For classes 10 and 12, the board exams will continue to take place but they will be re-designed with a ‘holistic development’ and the standards for the same will be established by a new national assessment centre – PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development.
5.   A singular regulatory body i.e. Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate all higher education institutions except for legal and medical colleges. The goal of the council is to increase the enrolment rate in college from 26.3% to 50% (by 2035). The main focus will be on the institutions that have more than 3000 students.
6.  The HECI will have 4 independent bodies – National Higher Education Regulatory Council for regulation, General Education Council to set the standards, Higher Education Grants Council for funding, and the National Accreditation Council for accreditation.
7.   The policy aims to reduce the load of the curriculum on the students and allowing them to become ‘multi-disciplinary’ and ‘multi-lingual’. There will also be no distinction between arts and science streams, or between the curricular or extracurricular activities, or between the vocational and academic streams.
8.  It also proposes a 4 year under graduate programme with multiple exit options for the students to have flexibility. A multi disciplinary bachelors’ degree will be given after completing 4 years of study. A diploma will be given to those who exit the degree after two years. A vocational/professional course degree will be given to those who leave after 12 months of studying. Also the MPhil (Masters of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued.
9.  For the reason of quality, there will be common regulations for both the private and the public higher education institutions in the country. There will also be a Common Entrance Exam that will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admissions to universities and higher education institutions.
10. There will also be establishment of more online courses in regional languages. Virtual labs will also be developed and a National Education Technology Forum(NEFT) will also be created.

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