Prime Minister reviewed the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 today. He observed that the implementation of NEP 2020 in the two years since its launch, has seen many initiatives being unrolled to achieve the objectives of access, equity, inclusivity and quality, as laid down under the policy. From special efforts to track out of school children and bring them back into the mainstream, to introduction of multiple entry and exit in higher education, many transformative reforms have been initiated that will define and lead the progress of the country as we enter the ‘Amrit Kaal’.
Prime Minister was apprised that the work of formulation of National Curriculum Framework, under the guidance of the National Steering Committee, is in progress. In school education, initiatives like quality ECCE in Balavatika, NIPUN Bharat, Vidya Pravesh, examination reforms and innovative pedagogies like Art-Integrated Education, toy-based pedagogy are being adopted for better learning outcomes and holistic development of children. He observed that a hybrid system of online and offline learning should be developed to avoid overexposure of technology of school-going children.
The databases maintained by Anganwadi centers should be seamlessly integrated with the school databases as children move from Anganwadis to Schools. Regular Health check-ups and screening for children in schools should be carried out with the help of technology. Emphasis should be laid on use of indigenously developed toys to develop conceptual skills in students. He also suggested that secondary schools with science labs should engage with farmers in their area for soil testing to create awareness about soil health.
Multidisciplinarity in Higher Education
Prime Minister was also informed that the guidelines for Multiple Entry-Exit for flexibility and lifelong learning, along with the launch Academic Bank of Credit on Digilocker platform will now make it possible for students to study as per their convenience and choice. In order to create new possibilities for life-long learning and centrally involve critical and interdisciplinary thinking in learners, UGC has published guidelines according to which students can pursue two academic programmes simultaneously. The National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF) is also at an advanced stage of preparation. UGC is revising the existing “Curriculum Framework and Credit System for Undergraduate Programme” in alignment with NHEQF.
Multi Modal Education
Online, open and multi-modal learning have been promoted vigorously by both schools and higher education institutions. This initiative has helped in reducing the learning loss due to the Covid 19 pandemic and will contribute greatly in reaching education to remote and inaccessible parts of the country. SWAYAM, DIKSHA, SWAYAM PRABHA, Virtual Labs and other online resource portals have all seen sharp rise in the hits and student registrations. These portals are providing study materials in multiple Indian languages including sign language and in audio formats for the visually impaired.
In addition to the above, UGC has notified Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and Online Programmes Regulations under which 59 Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are offering 351 full-fledged Online programmes and 86 HEIs are offering 1081 ODL programmes. The permissible limit of online content in a programme has also been raised to 40%.
Innovation and Start Up
In order to encourage an ecosystem of Start-up and Innovation, 2,774 Institution’s Innovation Councils have been set up in HEIs in 28 States and 6 UTs. Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievement (ARIIA) aligned with NEP has been launched in December, 2021 for creating a culture of research, incubation and start-ups. 1438 institutions participated in ARIIA. 100 Institutions have been funded by AICTE with industry participation for Idea Development, Evaluation and Application (IDEA) Labs for Experiential learning rather than rote learning.
Promotion of Indian Languages
Stress is being paid to multilinguality in education and testing to ensure that lack of knowledge of English does not impede the educational attainment of any student. With this objective in mind states are publishing bilingual/ trilingual textbooks at foundational level and content on DIKSHA platform has been made available in 33 Indian languages. NIOS has introduced Indian Sign Language (ISL) as a language subject at the Secondary Level.
NTA has conducted the JEE exam in 13 languages. AICTE has developed an AI-based translation App and study material is being translated into Indian languages. Technical Book Writing is being undertaken in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Engineering Courses are being offered in 6 Indian Languages in 19 Engineering Colleges across 10 States from 2021-22. Provision of additional 30/60 supernumerary seats in regional languages and upto 50% of sanctioned intake in regional languages has been made by AICTE.
Indian Knowledge System is being promoted as per recommendations of NEP 2020. An Indian Knowledge System (IKS) cell has been established in AICTE and 13 IKS Centres have opened across the country.
The meeting was attended by Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Education (MoE) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Shri Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Minister of State in MSDE, Shri Subhash Sarkar, MoS, MoE, Smt Annapurna Devi, MoS, MoE and Shri Rajkumar Ranjan Singh MoS, MoE and MEA, Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Advisor to PM, Chairman UGC, Chairman AICTE, Chairman NCVET, Director NCERT and other senior officials from Ministry of Education.