Landmark initiatives taken under NEP 2020

Landmark initiatives taken under NEP 2020

News: Recently, Minister of State for Education, Dr. Subhas Sarkar in a written reply in the Lok Sabha earmarked about landmark initiatives taken under the NEP 2020.

Background:
• As far as Ministry of Education is concerned, there has been increase in budget allocation from Rs. 99,311.52 crore (2020-21) to Rs. 1,12,899.47 crore (2023-24), which is around 13.68 % increase.
• As per Analysis of Budgeted Expenditure on Education 2018-19 to 2020-21, total expenditure on education as percentage of GDP has shown increasing trend and for the year 2020-21 it is 4.64%.

What is NEP 2020?
• The National Education Policy 2020 is a new policy that aims to reform the education system in India and make it more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, and aligned with the global standards. It was approved by the Union Cabinet of India on 29 July 2020.

What are salient features of NEP 2020?
• It proposes a new 5+3+3+4 curricular structure for school education, which covers the age group of 3-18 years. The policy also emphasizes on early childhood care and education, and universal access to quality education for all children.
• It introduces a four-year undergraduate program with multiple exit options and entry options, as well as a multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree. It also envisages a single regulator for higher education, called the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI).
• It promotes the use of mother tongue or local language as the medium of instruction up to Grade 5, and preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
• It establishes a National Research Foundation (NRF) to foster a culture of research and innovation across disciplines. The policy also aims to increase the public investment in education to 6% of GDP at the earliest.
• It integrates vocational education and training into all levels of education, from school to higher education. It also introduces a National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) to align the skills and competencies with the academic qualifications.

What are the initiatives taken under NEP 2020?
• PM Shri Schools - PM-SHRI scheme aims to provide high-quality education in an equitable, inclusive, and joyful school environment.
• NCF FS and Jadui Pitara – The National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF FS) and Jadui Pitara for play-based learning teaching material tailored for children between the age group of 3 to 8 years
• National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) for ensuring foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3.
• PM e-VIDYA to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education.
• NISHTHA - The National Initiative for School Heads' and Teachers' Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) is a capacity-building program for teachers and school principals in India.
• National Credit Framework (NCrF) and National Higher Education Qualification Framework (NHEQF)
• NDEAR - National Digital Education Architecture, an architectural blueprint, that lays down a set of guiding principles and building blocks to enable the creation of digital technology-based applications pertaining to education.

Some of other specific initiatives under NEP 2020 include:
• NEP 2020 provides for facilitation of research/teaching collaborations and faculty/student exchanges with high-quality foreign institutions.
• It also encourages high performing Indian universities to set up their campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India. For example, IIT-Madras’s campus at Zanzibar, Tanzania and IIT-Delhi’s campus in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
• Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) has also been implemented which seeks to tap the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs from abroad. 
• The Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions. 

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