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National Education Policy will take India forward as per needs and aspirations of 21st century: Kovind
New Delhi, September 7, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind today said the National Education Policy (NEP) will take the country, especially the youth, forward in consonance with the needs and aspirations of the 21st century.
Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his visionary leadership and inspiring role in shaping this historical document, he also appreciated the part played by Dr K. Kasturirangan and Ministers as well as the officials of Education Ministry for giving shape to the NEP through an elaborate process which took into consideration more than two lakh suggestions received from 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, more than 12,500 local bodies and about 675 districts.
If changes are effectively brought about, India will emerge as an education superpower, he said at the Governors' Conference on the NEP 2020.
Elaborating on the NEP, the President said the Governors, being Chancellors of State Universities, have a crucial role to play in the implementation of NEP. There were some 400 State Universities with about 40,000 colleges affiliated to them, hence it was imperative to establish coordination and dialogue with these universities which could be done by the Governors.
Kovind said that education was the most effective way for social justice and hence the National Education Policy calls for an investment of about 6% of GDP jointly by the Centre and the States.
The NEP emphasizes on strengthening of public educational institutions for a vibrant democratic society and at the same time inculcate respect among students for Fundamental Rights, Duties, Constitutional values and patriotism, he said.
Briefing the Governors about NEP, the President said socially and economically disadvantaged groups (SDGs) have been given priority in this policy through various initiatives. It includes providing foundational literacy and numeracy to all children at primary school level by 2025.
Reiterating the role of teachers in NEP, he said they will have a central role in the new education system, the most promising people being selected for the teaching profession. With this perspective, a new and comprehensive curriculum for teachers’ education will be formulated by next year.
Talking about the importance of vocational education, Kovind said that less than 5% of the workforce in India received formal vocational education which is nominal in comparison to the western countries.
Hence, in NEP, vocational education will be considered as a part of mainstream education and given an equal status which will make the children not only more skilled but will also generate respect and dignity of labour, he said.
Kovind said it has been widely accepted that the mother tongue should be the medium of primary education and hence the new policy adopts the spirit of the three-language formula. It has the benefit of encouraging the Indian languages, arts and culture which is a significant step in preserving the unity and integrity of the country characterised by great linguistic diversity.
To achieve quality education, multi-disciplinary education is being appreciated worldwide and hence as per the NEP, Multi-Disciplinary Research Universities, ‘MERU’ will be set up which will be beneficial for the development of qualified, versatile and creative youth, the President said.
One large multi-disciplinary higher education institution in or around each district by 2030 to provide higher education in underserved regions is being targeted under this policy. These steps are being taken to make quality higher education accessible to the socially and economically disadvantaged groups, he said.
Efforts were being made to make India global study destination and it was envisioned that foreign universities of repute would be allowed to impart education in India, he said.
Kovind opined that the success of this Education Policy will depend on the effective contribution of both the Centre and the States. Education being enumerated in the concurrent list of the Constitution, it requires coordinated action by the Centre and the States.
Appreciating the enthusiasm of the Governors, the President said that some of them have already started preparations for the implementation of National Education Policy by initiating dialogue with the respective Education Ministers and the Vice-Chancellors.
He advised the Governors to have a theme-based virtual conference on the implementation of the same and also invited suggestions to the Union Education Ministry which could be utilised across the country.
Such contribution by the Governors and Education Ministers will help transform India into a 'Knowledge Hub’, he added.
The day-long virtual conference on the National Education Policy (NEP) got off with unanimity expressed by President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Governors, Lieutenant Governors, administrators and education ministers of the States/UTs that the policy was not a mere document but an attempt to realise the aspirations of the nation.
Modi said it would not be correct to confine this policy to the government’s domain. “Like foreign policy or defence policy, education policy belongs to the country irrespective of the governments," he said while initiating the discussion in his welcome address.
Concurring with this view, President Ram Nath Kovind appreciated how the policy was distilled into a coherent and effective document by drawing inferences from lakhs of suggestions from across the social spectrum.