Nalanda vs National Education Policy 2020 UPSC

Nalanda vs National Education Policy 2020 | UPSC


National Education Policy 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

What is needed is a new kind of thinking

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Education


For PRELIMS nothing much here !

For MAINS this article will enlighten your scope about diversity in education with respect to how Nalanda University prosper to its zenith .


New educational institutions will not thrive in an old culture. They need an environment of trust and freedom.

Nalanda vs National Education Policy 2020

Nalanda did not reach its pinnacle of glory by complying with fiats that sought to prescribe its curriculum and regulate its scholarship. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Nalanda did not reach its glory by complying with fiats .
SOURCES : Wikimedia Commons


  • The earlier national policies on education (NPE) from 1986 and 1992 presented themselves as attempts to consolidate on the NPE, 1968.

The new NEP 2020 policy, on the other hand, is very keen to establish that it is different from everything in the past.

  • It begins with the credo that the policy “envisions a complete overhaul and re-energising of the higher education system.
  • It starts listing the problems currently faced by India’s higher education.
  • This listing may be comprehensive, but there is no diagnosis of underlying disorder .
  • It comes across fairly clearly on how the higher education ecosystem will be by 2040.


  • By this time — if the policy has its way — the Indian higher education ecosystem will be populated with higher education institutions (HEI).
  • Colleges will largely teach at the under-graduate level, with a number of them having their medium of instruction in either bilingual or local / Indian languages.
  • The colleges can manifest in clusters around universities as constituent colleges or may be standalone autonomous ones.

Ideally, all HEIs will eventually become “independent self-governing institutions” with considerable “faculty and institutional autonomy”.

  • They will have complied with a series of regulatory exercises that are “light-but-tight” and will be operated by a large number of private accreditors.
  • By 2035, India’s higher education system will have doubled the gross enrolment ratio to 50 per cent.


  • Larger student strength in each HEI
  • A greater number of new HEIs, mostly in the private sector
  • A refurbished open- and distance-learning system
  • The use of technologies, including online modes.

The policy does not clarify how we will get there in two decades and how we will accomplish the promised .   


  • What the policy envisages is to build – independent self-governing institutions.
  • This will be with considerable autonomy for teachers from the debris of a “fragmented ecosystem of low-standard teaching”.

Also -“Lesser emphasis on research”, “sub-optimal governance and leadership” and “ineffective regulatory system”.

  • No clear roadmap is laid out in the policy for this complete makeover.
  • The problem, as we see it policy rightly identifies, stems from a culture of mistrust and control.
  • The seeds of this are in the very DNA of our larger system and are not confined to higher education.


  • Uniform template of the policy envisages a set of national-level regulatory institutions, it is willy-nilly giving in to centralisation .
  • Imposing uniformity and standardisation along a single axis of control and power, which is paradoxical, given India’s size, population, diversity and constitutional federalism.
  • The “light-but-tight” approach in the regulatory processes is obviously well intentioned.

One old institution can divide into four new ones, but the genetic material from which these are created, remains the same and so does institutional culture.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • REVAMP : What is needed, perhaps, is a new kind of thinking, along the lines of a ‘rhizomatic’ model for social organisation and culture . #propunders Deleuze and Guattari.
  • RECOGNIZE : It is important to recognise institutions as organic entities with their own histories.
  • REAFFIRM : These instincts should be rooted firmly in and engaging dynamically with specific social and cultural contexts.

The creation of a new ecosystem cannot be engineered through top-down fiats.

  • Each of the ancient universities, in fact, was unique; they were not cast in the same mould.
  • They flourished in an environment of trust and freedom in which they determined their scholarly pursuits and teaching themselves.
  • Their patrons simply trusted their wisdom to carry out their work and supported them without breathing down their necks.

Nalanda and Vallabhi did not reach their pinnacle of glory by complying with fiats that sought to prescribe their curricula and regulate their scholarship.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Nalanda vs National Education Policy 2020

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