National Education Policy 2020 – Recommendations, Features of NEP 2020

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

National Education Policy 2020 was approved by Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2020. It aims to bring forth a comprehensive approach focusing on the entire array of education from preschool to doctoral degrees. The National Education Policy works against the challenges of Quality, Equity, Affordability, Accountability, and Access that persist in the current education system. The National Education Policy [NEP 2020] focuses to uplift, and upgrading the education system in India and laying out a radical change in the system.

National Education Policy (NEP 2020) has a major role in changing the education system in India. Thus, it is an important topic for IAS Exam. Below, you will learn about the salient features, key recommendations, expected outcomes, merits, and significance of the National Education Policy 2020.

What is National Education Policy 2020?

In 1964, the exigency for a national education policy was felt when MP of Congress Siddheshwar Prasad opposed the government for the absence of the country’s philosophy and vision for education. In the same year, the government appointed an Education Commission comprising 17 members, headed by the then UGC Chairperson D S Kothari, to formulate a national education policy for uniform and coordinated nationwide education policy in India.

  • Based on recommendations by the commission, the first education policy was passed in Parliament.
  • The second National Education Policy was passed in 1986, under the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi; it was revised in 1992 when P V Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister. Since then, it has undergone many changes and has been revised from time to time to introduce new objectives.

The NEP 2020 has replaced the 34-year-old National Education Policy. The policy focuses on the 5+3+3+4 pattern, according to which the student’s education must be completed in 4 different stages.

New Education Policy 2020 Summary

The New Education Policy 2020 focuses on numerous parameters, walk through the table presented here to get a glimpse of the policy. Highlight the pivotal pertinents of the policy as it covers a major aspect of the UPSC syllabus and other competitive exams. The overview of the National Education Policy 2020 is presented here in table-

Highlights Details of New Education Policy 2020
NEP 2020 full form National Education Policy
New National Education Policy was launched on July 2020
First National Education Policy was launched in 1986.
New Education Policy official website

10 Features of New Education Policy 2020

The key features of the NEP 2020 have been listed here, it caters to certain flaws of the existing education policy and aims to improve and upgrade the education system. The National Education Policy 2020 addresses the challenges being faced by the persisting education system, and these are-

  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Access
  • Equity
  • Accountability

There are certain other objectives of the NEP 2020 that are illustrated here. Focussing on these objectives will bring major reforms in the education system. Other intentions of the National Education Policy include-

  • Setting up NEC.
  • Increasing public investment in education.
  • Strengthening the use of technology.
  • Increasing focus on vocational and adult education.

The National Education Policy provides the necessary reforms to help students in school and higher education. The NEP 2020 also aims to focus on the necessary segments like-

  • Early childhood care
  • Uplifting teacher training
  • Restructuring the existing exam system
  • Reforming education’s reforming framework
  • It also assures the availability of quality education for all levels.

These are the 10 main features and objectives of the New Education Policy that will transform and uplift the existing education system in India.

Recommendations of NEP 2020

The National Education Policy 2020 has a keen eye on the major sections of the education system and recommends reforming the Curriculum Framework, Vocational Courses, The Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE Act), and much more. The key recommendations of NEP 2020 are-

  • The Right to Education Act was introduced in 2009. The National Education Policy 2020 recommends extending the radius of the Right to Education Act by involving two education levels.
  • It includes early childhood and secondary education school. NEP 2020 suggests eradicating the children’s detention till the 8th class by allowing compulsory education (by RTE) for a child to gain education between 3 to 18 years of age.

Early Childhood Care and Education in New Education Policy

Since the New Education Policy 2020 introduced early childhood and secondary education school. The policy also recommends that education and early childhood care be developed into a curriculum in two parts. It consists of-

  • An educational framework for students between the ages of 3-8 years.
  • Set of instructions for Parents and Teachers of students up to 3 years of age.

It put forward the idea of improving and expanding the quality of Anganwadi. It also recommends the co-location of the Anganwadi system with the primary schools.

Curriculum Framework

The National Education Policy 2020 adopts the 5-3-3-4 pattern for education. As per this pattern, there must be a division of education as per the following stages.

  • Foundational Stage for 5 years: It includes pre-primary education for 3 years and the rest for classes 1 and 2.
  • Preparatory Stage for 3 years: It is for classes 3 to 5.
  • Middle Stage for 3 years: It is for classes 6 to 8.
  • Secondary Stage for 4 years: It is for classes 9 to 12.

Education Governance of National Education Policy

NEP 2020 says that there must be an apex body for education, National Education Commission or Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog, that needs to be governed by the Prime Minister himself. The National Education Policy 2020 also suggests that the name of the Ministry of Human Resources & Development should be changed to the Ministry of Education.

School Exam Reforms

Like the other initiatives, National Education Policy 2020 suggests that school exam reforms must be implemented to track students’ progress in school. According to this policy, there must be State Census Exams in classes 3, 5, and 8. It focuses on changing the secondary board exam to test students’ skills, capabilities, higher-order thinking, and core concepts.

Regulatory Structure and Accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions

For Regulatory Structure and Accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions, the National Education Policy has suggested the following changes-

  • Separation of NAAC from UGC into a separate and independent body.
  • Setting up National Higher Education Regulatory Authority (NHERA).

National Research Foundation

Indian researchers are very dedicated. Still, there are difficulties in researching because of the lack of a strong foundation and poor infrastructure. To improve Indian research quality, it recommends establishing the National Research Foundation.

The National Research Foundation is an independent organ to check on funding, monitoring, and capacity building for quality research.

Financing Education in NEP 2020

One of the major recommendations of NEP 2020 was to increase public investment in education (almost double). It aims to have an expenditure of 6% of GDP on education.

Vocational Courses

It emphasizes the introduction of vocational education for students from classes 9 to 12. All the schools must develop an expert curriculum aligned with the NSQF (National Skills Qualifications Framework) competency levels. It’s not only the duty of schools but the vocational courses must be integrated into the curriculum of undergraduate education programs and Higher education institutions and universities.

National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology

It demands the establishment of an independent organ NETF (National Education Technology Forum) that accounts for the induction, deployment, and use of technology. The autonomous body must include virtual laboratories for remote learning.

Three Language Formula of National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy supports the idea of three language formula. According to the three-language formula, the state government should adopt a modern Indian language other than English and Hindi in the Hindi-speaking states. They need to prefer a southern language. Non-Hindi-speaking states can opt for Hindi, English, and regional language.

Introduction of New Education Policy 2020

The policy envisions transfiguring the education system by 2040. This will bring a major reform in the education system, bringing a radical change for the welfare of the students. Here are the key details that point toward its implementation.

  • Some proposals were implemented immediately; for example, the Ministry of Human Resource Development was transformed into the Ministry of Education.
  • From the 2020-21 academic year onwards, the four-year undergraduate degrees comprising numerous options of entry and exit were presented forth in the 20 IoEs (Institute of Excellence), on the other hand, other institutes continued with the existing courses of three-year degrees.
  • The M.Phil students who were pursuing the course continued till the completion of their degree, however, new admissions for the program were denied.
  • The transformed pilot version of the common entrance test was put forth by the NTA, which will be used for the procedures of admissions to the central universities and IOEs in 2021.
  • An academic credit Bank, is being established by the IITs, and they are focusing on the technical structure. It was formulated in December, it will be put to use for all the new students taking admissions in the central universities next year.
  • The National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission which is to be put forth to be implemented by 2025, was integrated and introduced at the end of 2020.
  • The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has introduced the framework and layout of the curriculum for the structure of the new school, comprising early childhood care, by the 2021’s academic year.

Expected Outcomes of National Education Policy 2020

The major focus of the NEP 2020 is to bring holistic and major changes in the educational system upgrading the levels. It aims to concentrate on bringing forth inclusiveness in the education system. National Education Policy 2020 aims for the following outcomes in the future-

  • NEP wants to attain foundational learning and numeracy skills by 2025 via National Mission.
  • It aims to universalize Secondary Education aligning with SDG 4 from ECCE within 10 years.
  • To bring the Gross Enrolment Ratio to 100% in Pre-school to secondary level in the forthcoming years.
  • To reintroduce 2 Cr Out of School Children.
  • It aims to prepare teachers for assessment reforms by 2023.
  • By 2030, NEP aims to implement an equitable and inclusive Education System.
  • The purpose of conducting the board exams should be to test the core concept of students and judge their application of knowledge.
  • An individual student must be adapting at least one skill during their school time.
  • There should be common learning standards in private and public schools.

Merits of NEP 2020

The National Education Policy has been working to change the old education system by bringing modern and practical learning forms. It has numerous objectives and parameters that will cumulatively bring forth a methodical education system bringing in inclusiveness. The merits of the National Education Policy 2020 are as under-

  • Early Childhood Education: The new National Education Policy was formed on the principle that a child’s most important and formative years are from 3 to 8. It adopts the 5+3+3+4 model, where a child must start his education at 3 for a successful future.
  • Multi-Disciplinary Approach: The NEP has created a strict division of Science, arts, and commerce in high school.
  • Comprehensive: The New National Education Policy addresses the whole spectrum of education from preschool to doctoral studies and professional degrees to vocational training.
  • Easy on Regulations: The National Education Policy believes in the prescription to free educational institutions (schools, colleges, and universities) from inspections. Instead, the students must lead the path of voluntary declaration and self-assessment.
  • Promotes Inclusion: This Education Policy promotes the idea of creating inclusion funds to help children pursue education without worrying about social and educational disadvantages.
  • Holistic: It aims to eradicate the problems of structural inequities, rampant commercialization, access asymmetries, and pedagogy.
  • Education and Skills Integration: With the new NEP, vocational courses were introduced for practical education that provides internships that might compel society’s vulnerable sections to send their children to schools to gain an education.
  • Allowing Foreign Universities: According to the National Education Policy 2020, almost 100 foreign universities can set up their campus in India.
  • Made Education More Inclusive: It suggests that the children’s RTE (Right to Education) must be extended up to 18 years of age.

Challenges of National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy 2020 has successfully created impactful educational system changes. However, there are a few concerns related to the newly introduced policy, and these are-

  • Lack of clarity: There is a lack of clarity regarding the Public Sector like Kendra Vidyalaya, state-run institutions, and municipal schools in the government strategies.
  • Problems related to Anganwadis: A lot of focus was pointed toward early schooling and childhood care, yet it faced a problem related to the changes related to the Anganwadis.
  • The National Education Policy 2020 report failed to incorporate the ideas on contemporary global thinking like critical thinking, emphasis on creativity, and the need for learning in the non-hierarchical and non-competitive ecosystem.
  • Persistent inequity & inequality: It fails to address the problems of inequality and inequity.
  • Short-term solutions: The concept of peer tutoring, sharing resources, volunteer teachers, and rationalizing the school system is not the long-term solution for a better education.
  • Scepticism: NTA (National Testing Agency) has resulted in skepticism as the universities, and particular educational departments cannot conduct admissions autonomously because of the NTA.
  • Knowledge-Jobs Mismatch: Since independence, the problem of the knowledge & skills imparted and the jobs have been a major concern, and NEP fails to explain this mismatch.

National Education Policy UPSC

National Education Policy is an integral topic for the IAS Exam. It has brought a change in the education system. Thus, NEP holds significant essentiality in Prelims and Mains Exam. So, it is important to have a complete comprehensibility of the topic.

For an individual preparing for the UPSC Exam, It is essential to understand National Education Policy in detail. The well-framed and structured notes for the New Educational Policy will highlight the major reforms, merits, and demerits.

You learn about National Education Policy and similar topics by downloading the NCERT Books for UPSC and UPSC Study Material. You can also gauge your preparations by practising the previous year question papers.

Questions on New Education Policy 2020 UPSC

Since National Education Policy UPSC is one of the necessary policies regarding the education system in India. Many questions range from this topic in the exam, the aspirants must prepare well for this topic in order to crack the exam. The National Education Policy UPSC Questions have been listed here:

Question: Which of the following statements is incorrect regarding the National Education Policy 2020 in India? [A] It proposes sweeping changes in the education system from pre-primary to Ph.D. skill development. [B] It states that universities from among the top 100 in the world will be able to set up campuses in India. [C] It expects that India will achieve 60% GER by 2030. [D] It suggests that NAAC be merged with UGC and AICTE.

Answer: (Option C) It expects that India will achieve 60% GER by 2030.

Question: Under the chairmanship of whom’ Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ submitted its report in May 2016? [A] Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian,  [B] Dr. K. Kasturirangan, [C] Rina Ray, [D] Shri Sanjay Dhotre

Answer: (Option A) Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian

Question for UPSC Mains Examination: National Education Policy 2020 conforms with Sustainable Development Goal-4 (2030). It intends to restructure and reorient the education system in India. Critically examine the statement (UPSC GS-2 Mains 2020).

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