Abstract: The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), lays down the vision for the reformation of education in the nation. The NEP 2020 has replaced the National Policy on Education, 1986. The NEP is a step towards making our educated population employable and technically sound.

Author: Sahil Dugar

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The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), lays down the vision for the reformation of education in the nation. The NEP 2020 has replaced the National Policy on Education, 1986. The NEP is a step towards making our educated population employable and technically sound.
Under the old system of education there were certain areas which required reforms:
  • The Education system in India has historically been associated with the terms rote learning, exam-centric, lack of provision of employable and technical skills and compartmentalisation of students into rigid streams after Grade 10.
  • To get into a prestigious college in India after schooling, a student’s board exam marks were decisive. No matter how hard the student has worked throughout their life, it all comes down to their performance on one single day and this single day can potentially shape their career. So if a student gets sick on the day of the examination or the student cannot reach the examination centre on time on the day of the examination due to any unforeseen circumstance the future prospects of college education may be altered drastically for the student.
  • The board exams of most education boards in India are primarily focussed on how much the student can recall and remember from their textbooks. This encourages students to adopt rote learning and not actually focussing on the essence of the topic at hand and actually understanding it.
  • No vocational training or employable skills are given to the students. So even after their schooling all they have to get jobs are theoretical definitions and formulas that they cannot apply to real life situations to earn a livelihood.
  • After completing Grade 10 in India students of most boards are required to choose between three mutually exclusive streams and have limited flexibility in mixing the subjects of these streams. The streams are- Science, Commerce and Humanities or Arts. Students having interests in diverse subjects such as accountancy, political science and physics for example cannot choose all these 3 subjects. Students are not exposed to all of these subjects earlier and this may lead them to make suboptimal decisions for themselves.
  • Students in their college education may have to drop out before completing the entire duration of the course and when decide to re-join later have to start the course all over again.
  • The Gross enrolment ratio in Indian schools in secondary education is 77.9 percent and in higher education is 51.4 percent. This implies that 35 percent of students drop out after secondary school.
These are the most crucial but just a few of the pain points that the Indian education system faced before the introduction of NEP 2020
The Government of India has proposed a 6% of our GDP to be spent on Education. This is an almost 100% increase from the current 3.1% (FY 2020-21)

Change in education structure:
The earlier pattern of 10+2 education is to be replaced by a more dynamic 5+3+3+4 structure.
This new structure lays emphasis on early education of children as ‘From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life’ and to be specific about 90% of the development of a child’s brian happens before the age of 5. It has been recommended that education upto the age of 5 be done in the child’s mother tongue.

Right to Education
The Right To Education has been extended to ages 3-18 from the previous ages of 5-14. Due importance has been given to ‘Aanganwaadis’ in the educational reformation in our country.

The relative importance of the board exams have been reduced. For admission into Central universities students have to give the CUET(Central universities entrance test) which has subject wise tests for assessing the competence of students and for their admission into these central universities.






LANGUAGE (13* languages)











*The 13 languages covered are:
● English
● Tamil
● Telugu
● Hindi
● Marathi
● Urdu
● Kannada
● Malayalam
● Bengali
● Gujarathi
● Assamese
● Odia
● Punjabi

Each course in a Central university has a specific requirement of the sections of the test to be taken, so students only have to give those sections of tests required by the course they aspire to enrol in.

Two board examinations in a year:
The board exams will be conducted as two exams in a year after the end of each semester. This will reduce the impact of one bad day on the overall score of the student. The board exams will also be conducted in a manner wherein the questions asked are majorly based on understanding of concepts and their application. This will ensure that students divert more of their attention towards comprehending concepts and not rote-learning them.

Vocational training and internships:
Students in class 6-8 are required to undergo internships in vocational training in the fields of plumbing, electrical works, etc. There is a specific ‘10 day bagless period’ for the students in class 6-8 where they have to come to schools without their backpacks and get hands-on experience in vocational training. Students are also taught coding from class 6. All these measures secure a basic livelihood for students.

Flexibility in choosing subjects:
After completion of class 10 students can choose one language and any four electives in any combination provided it is being taught in the school. An additional sixth subject can also be offered and studied on their own as per prescribed syllabus, out of the subjects offered by the board
Multiple entry and exit points in college education:
Partial degrees are awarded to students after completion of each year.



End of 1st year 


End of 2nd year


End of 3rd year

Degree (B.A. , B.Sc, etc)

End of 4th year

Research Degree

Also the credits that a student earns during their college education is transferable so if a student wishes to drop out after year 1 and continue the same course after two years (example), then the student need not re-start the course and can continue from the 2nd year, these transferable credits can also be used when switching colleges.
International universities
Top 100 foreign universities have been given permission to set up their International Branch Campuses (IBCs) in our country.

Evaluation and PARAKH
The report cards given to students now constitute:
  • Teacher’s evaluation
  • Self-evaluation
  • Peer evaluation
Self-evaluation promotes critical thinking in students, at later junctures in life it is our own selves who evaluate where we stand and instilling this at an early age is crucial. With peer evaluation a student realises the importance of networking and maintaining good relations with others.

PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) has been set up the Central Ministry) “as a standard-setting body to achieve the objectives of establishing norms, benchmarks, and recommendations for student assessment and evaluation to promote and enhance learning.” It will develop standards to achieve benchmarks to improve the quality of learning. It will also ensure that academic expectations remain consistent throughout all the school boards.

Focus on Entrepreneurship

The increased focus on vocational training along with project based learning and internships pave the path for students to think in terms of identifying problems and solving them. Students will also be trained in cybersecurity, data entry, and other skills that acquaint them with technological advancements.

Focus on Online and Digital Education

A major focus has also been placed on digital education and online education. ‘NEP 2020 emphasises the creation of virtual labs wherein students can practise their theoretical knowledge and make course content available in different languages. Online tools and platforms like DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing.) and SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) will be upgraded with new insight to training content, in-class resources, assessment aids, profiles, etc. that will allow seamless interaction.’

Areas of Improvement

Declined importance of English: The recommendation of children being taught in their mother tongue up to the age of 5 can lead to problems later if the student tries to switch to English as the base has been built in another language. Also, our population’s ability to understand and communicate in English is one of the very important factors that place us at an advantageous position in Asia to do business with the United States and Europe. Does not address under the table fees taken by schools: There is no mention of resolutions of schools taking donations or capitation fees for admission of children.

Undermining States’ power over education: Education is a concurrent matter as per our constitution but the NEP proposes a fixed teacher’s training programme and syllabus. This move may be a first towards centralisation of education.


The NEP 2020 is not just a policy but a vision- a vision for reformation of the most neglected sectors in our country. The policy can yield promising results and completely change the face of Indian education and the students that are a part of this system. However key challenges lie in terms of implementation of the policy- digital connectivity in rural areas, setting up and revamping of schools and several other problems but one of the most important problems to be addressed is the rigid mindset of our society. Occupations of carpentry, plumbing, etc are looked down upon in our society, so getting the society accustomed to the fact that their children would be learning these skills would not be an easy task. The success of the NEP would not only depend on the efforts of our government but also on the willingness of our population to transform our Nation into a developed Nation and NEP is the way to go.

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