National Education Policy 2020 _ UPSC

National Education Policy 2020 | UPSC


Cabinet Approves National Education Policy 2020, paving way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 today, making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors.

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Human Resource Development
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2: 3 : National Education Policy 2020 :  Education


For PRELIMS look out for new programmes and initiatives . Make sure by the end of this article you have comprehensive notes which you can stick it on your cupboard ! This is something serious and very important .

For MAINS design answers on this issue from two to three different perspectives . We will surely take up this issue again in Editorial Hunt . Let us dive in !


NEP 2020 replaces the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.


  • This is the first education policy of the 21st century.
  • This policy is  aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


New Policy aims for Universalization of Education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 % GER in school education by 2030

  • Policy aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society.
  • The Policy focuses on making India global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs.
  • Ultimately the reforms are aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.


The policy is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.


NEP 2020 will bring 2 crore out of school children back into the main stream.

New 5+3+3+4 school curriculum with 12 years of schooling and 3 years of Anganwadi/ Pre-schooling.   

National Education Policy 2020 _ UPSC IAS

  • EMPHASIS : Stress is on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, no rigid separation between academic streams, extracurricular, vocational streams in schools .
  • VOCATIONAL EDUCATION : This will start  from Class 6th with Internships
  • MOTHER TONGUE : Teaching upto at least Grade 5 to be in mother tongue/ regional language.
  • ASSESSMENT : Assessment reforms with 360 degree Holistic Progress Card.
  • LEARNING OUTCOMES : Tracking Student Progress for achieving .

GER in higher education to be raised to 50 % by 2035 ;  3.5 crore seats to be added in higher education

  • FLEXIBILITY : Higher Education curriculum to have Flexibility of Subjects.
  • MULTIPLE ENTRYMultiple Entry / Exit to be allowed with appropriate certification.
  • CREDIT BANKS : Academic Bank of Credits to be established to facilitate  Transfer of Credits. 
  • NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION : National Research Foundation to be established to foster a strong research culture.
  • REGULATIONS : Light but Tight Regulation of Higher Education, single regulator with four separate verticals for different functions.
  • AFFILIATION SYSTEM : Affiliation System to be phased out in 15 years with graded autonomy to colleges.

NEP 2020 advocates increased use of technology with equity.

  • NEW FORUMNational Educational Technology Forum to be created.
  • NEW FUNDS : NEP 2020 emphasizes setting up of Gender Inclusion FundSpecial Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups

New Policy promotes Multilingualism in both schools and HEs.

  • NEW INSTITUTIONS : National Institute for Pali, Persian and Prakrit , Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation to be set up.

Detail Analysis : National Education Policy 2020

National Education Policy 2020



  • EMPHASIS : NEP 2020 emphasizes on ensuring universal access to school education at all levels- pre school to secondary. 
  • INNOVATION CENTRES : Innovative education centres to bring back dropouts into the mainstream.
  • TRACKING : Tracking of students and their learning levels.
  • MULTIPLE MODES : Facilitating multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes.
  • COUNSELLING : Association of counsellors or well-trained social workers with schools.

Open learning for classes through NIOS and State Open Schools.

  • VOCATIONAL TRAININGSecondary education programs equivalent to Grades 10 and 12, vocational courses.
  • ADULT LITERACY : Life-enrichment programs are some of the proposed ways for achieving this.


EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE : The 10+2 structure of school curricula is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.

  • SCHOOL AGE GROUP : This will bring the hitherto uncovered age group of 3-6 years under school curriculum.
  • NEW SYSTEM : The new system will have 12 years of schooling with three years of Anganwadi/ pre schooling.

NCERT will develop a National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education (NCPFECCE) for children up to the age of 8 .

  • TEACHERS TRAINING : Anganwadis and pre-schools that will have teachers and Anganwadi workers trained in the ECCE pedagogy and curriculum.
  • PLANNING : The planning and implementation of ECCE will be carried out jointly by the Ministries of HRD, Women and Child Development (WCD), Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.


NEP 2020 calls for setting up of a  National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by MHRD. 

  • IMPLEMENTATION : States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy.
  • POLICY PROMOTION : A National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated.


The school curricula and pedagogy will aim for holistic development of learners by equipping them with the key 21st century skills.

  • PRACTICAL LEARNING : Greater focus on experiential learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects.
  • NO SEPARATION : There will be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.
  • VOCATIONAL EDUCATION : Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade, and will include internships.
  • FRAMEWORK : A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School Education, NCFSE 2020-21, will be developed by the NCERT.


The policy has emphasized mother tongue/local language/regional language as the medium of instruction at least till Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.

  • SANSKRIT LANGUAGE : Sanskrit to be offered at all levels of school and higher education as an option for students, including in the three-language formula.
  • CLASSICAL LANGUAGES : Other classical languages and literatures of India also to be available as options.

No language will be imposed on any student.

  • PROJECTS/ACTIVITIES : Students to participate in a fun project/activity on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat initiative.
  • SIGN LANGUAGE : Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with hearing impairment.


NEP 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development.

  • TESTING AT PAR : Tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity.
  • EXAMINATIONS : All students will take school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the appropriate authority.
  • BOARD EXAMS : Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued, but redesigned with holistic development as the aim.
  • PARAKH : A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development),  will be set up as a standard-setting body .


NEP 2020 aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel because of the circumstances of birth or background.

  • SPECIAL ATTENTION : Special emphasis will be given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(SEDGs) which include gender, socio-cultural, and geographical identities and disabilities.
  • SPECIAL FUNDS : This includes setting up of   Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
  • CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES : They will be enabled to fully participate in the regular schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education, with support of educators with cross disability training, resource centres, accommodations, and assistive devices.

Appropriate technology-based tools and other support mechanisms will be tailored to suit their needs.

  • BAL BHAVANS : Every state/district will be encouraged to establish “Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities.

Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras


  • RECRUITMENT : Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes.
  • PROMOTIONS : Promotions will be merit-based, with a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance appraisals and available progression paths to become educational administrators or teacher educators.
  • PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS : A common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be developed by the National Council for Teacher Education by 2022, in consultation with NCERT, SCERTs, teachers and expert organizations from across levels and regions.


  • ORGANIZATION : Schools can be organized into complexes or clusters which will be the basic unit of governance.
  • RESOURCES : This will ensure availability of all resources including infrastructure, academic libraries and a strong professional teacher community.


  • NEP 2020 envisages clear, separate systems for policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters.

States/UTs will set up independent State School Standards Authority (SSSA).

  • ACCOUNTABILITY : Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory information, as laid down by the SSSA, will be used extensively for public oversight and accountability.
  • SQAAF : The SCERT will develop a School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) through consultations with all stakeholders.



  • INCREASING ENROLMENTS : NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.

3.5 Crore new seats will be added to Higher education institutions.


  • FLEXIBILITY : The policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate  education with flexible curriculacreative combinations of subjectsintegration of vocational education.
  • CERTIFICATION Multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
  • UG PROGRAMME : UG education can be of 3 or 4 years with multiple exit options and appropriate certification within this period.

 Certificate after 1 year, Advanced Diploma after 2 years, Bachelor’s Degree after 3 years and Bachelor’s with Research after 4 years

  • ACADEMIC CREDITS : An Academic Bank of Credit is to be established for digitally storing academic credits earned from different  HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards final degree earned.
  • MULTIDISCIPLINARY EDUCATION : Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities , at par with IITs, IIMs, to  be set up as models  of best multidisciplinary education of global standards in the country.
  • NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION : The National Research Foundation will be created as an apex body for fostering a strong research culture and building research capacity across higher education.


  • HECI : Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body the for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education.


  • National Higher Education Regulatory Council (NHERC) for regulation.
  • General Education Council (GEC ) for standard setting.
  • Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding,
  • National Accreditation Council( NAC) for accreditation.

HECI will  function through faceless intervention through technology, & will have powers to penalise HEIs not conforming to norms and standards.

  • Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation and academic standards.


  • MULTIDISCIPLINARY INSTITUTIONS : Higher education institutions will be transformed into large, well resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions  providing  high quality teaching, research, and community engagement.
  • DEFINITION : The definition of university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities to Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges. 

Affiliation of colleges is to be phased out in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.

  • COLLEGES : Over a period of time, Every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.


  • CAPACITY BUILDING : NEP makes recommendations for motivating, energizing, and building capacity of  faculty through  clearly defined, independent and transparent recruitment .
  • LEADERSHIP : Faculties will have freedom to design curricula/pedagogy, incentivising excellence, movement into institutional leadership.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY : Faculty not delivering on basic norms will be held accountable.


  • NCFTE 2021 : A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, NCFTE 2021, will be formulated by the NCTE in consultation with NCERT.
  • MINIMUM DEGREE QUALIFICATION : By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree .

Stringent action will be taken against substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs).   


  • NATIONAL MISSION FOR MENTORING : National Mission for Mentoring will be established, with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty.
  • PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT : Teachers who would be willing to provide short and long-term mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.


  • INCENTIVES : Efforts will be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs.
  • SCHOLARSHIP PORTAL : The National Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of students receiving scholarships.

Private HEIs will be encouraged to offer larger numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.


This will be expanded to play a significant role in increasing GER.

  • ONLINE COURSES : Measures such as online courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services, credit-based recognition of MOOCs, etc.
  • QUALITY : It will be taken to ensure it is at par with the highest quality in-class programmes.


  • GUIDELINES : A comprehensive set of recommendations will be prepared for promoting online education consequent to the recent rise in epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness.
  • E-EDUCATION NEEDS : A dedicated unit for the purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content and capacity building will be created in the MHRD to look after both school and higher education.


  • FORUM : An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
  • INTEGRATION : Appropriate integration of technology into all levels of education will be done to improve classroom processes, support teacher professional development, enhance educational access for disadvantaged groups .


  • NEW INSTITUTIONS : To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages, NEP recommends setting an Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), National Institute (or Institutes) for Pali, Persian and Prakrit.
  • INTERNATIONALIZATION : World class education will be facilitated through both institutional collaborations, and student and faculty mobility and allowing entry of top world ranked Universities to open campuses in our country.


  • All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education system.
  • Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and agricultural universities etc will aim to become multi-disciplinary institutions.


  • Policy  aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.


  • The Centre and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.


  • CONSULTATION : NEP 2020 has been formulated after an unprecedented process of consultation that involved nearly over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakhs Gram Panchayats, 6600 Blocks, 6000 ULBs, 676 Districts.
  • COLLABORATIONS : The MHRD initiated an unprecedented collaborative, inclusive, and highly participatory consultation process from January 2015.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • In May 2016, ‘Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of Late Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted its report.
  • Ministry prepared ‘Some Inputs for the Draft National Education Policy, 2016.

In June 2017 a ‘Committee for the Draft National Education Policy  was constituted under the Chairmanship of eminent scientist Padma Vibhushan, Dr. K. Kasturirangan

  • Which submitted the Draft National Education Policy, 2019 to the Hon’ble Human Resource Development Minister on 31st May, 2019.
  • The Draft National Education Policy 2019  was uploaded on MHRD’s website and at ‘MyGov Innovate’ portal eliciting views/suggestions/comments of stakeholders, including public.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | National Education Policy 2020


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    1. Muksed Ali ,
      Glad you found it helpful. If you need help with anything else please let me know. Looking forward to hearing much more from you. Stay Safe !

  1. Will these reform changes in National Education Policy 2020 are Works for Students of India?
    I Think that there many other problems in education sector related improving skills of students.
    I does not mean that it’s become worthy but I mean how they implementation and progressive factors in education sector.
    So there is many changes occured in education policy 2020 for improving the education in India .
    I think that New National Education Policy 2020 of India works better in education sector.

    1. Hiya Excellence Lib,
      Thanks for replying ! This policy is built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.It takes time to amend existing laws . I hope we see some systemic changes in another decade .

Comments are closed.

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