Draft Education Policy Unveiled

The Ministry of Human Resource and Development has unveiled the draft education policy.

Features of the Draft Policy

  • A complete restructuring of higher education by reintroducing the four-year programme in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with multiple exit options. Even the three-year traditional B.A., B.Sc., as well as B.Voc. degrees will continue as well for those institutions that wish to continue such programmes,
  • Scrapping the MPhil programme.
  • Pursuing a PhD would require either a Master s degree or a four-year Bachelor s degree with research.
  • Inclusion of early childhood education (from age 3 onwards) as part of formal school education. The policy recommends reconfiguration of the school curriculum and pedagogy in a new 5+3+3+4 design, corresponding to the age group of 3-8 years, 8-11 years, 11-14 years, and 14-18 years, respectively.
  • Expanding the scope of the Right to Education Act to include up to three years of early childhood education prior to Grade 1, and upwards to include Grades 11 and 12.
  • Review of Clause 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act which provides for mandatory 25 per cent reservation for economically weaker section students in private schools in wake of its alleged misuse.
  • Increasing the number of offshore campuses of Indian institutions abroad and allowing the world s top 200 universities to set up branches in India to internationalise higher education.
  • Setting up of a single independent regulator called State School Regulatory Authority (SSRA) for the school education sector and a separate single regulator National Higher Education Regulatory Authority for higher education.
  • Current regulatory bodies such as AICTE, MCI, BCI, to turn into Professional Standard Setting Bodies that prescribe standards for professions.
  • Private schools to be allowed to set their fees without any intervention from the government but they shall not increase school fees arbitrarily. The permissible percentage fee increase based on inflation etc. will be decided by SSRA for every three year period.
  • Setting up of Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog under Prime Minister for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising the vision of education on a continuous basis.
  • School curriculum load to be reduced to make space for more holistic, experiential learning.
  • No hard separation of content in terms of curricular, extra-curricular, or co-curricular areas and as arts and sciences are also proposed.
  • Contribution of ancient Indian knowledge systems to mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, medicine to be included in the school curriculum.
  • Allowing School students to take board examination in a given subject whenever they think they are ready.

The draft policy was prepared the Dr K Kasturirangan-led committee has been released for public comments.