What are the implications of the National Education Policy 2020 to higher education in India?

Suyash Shrivastava
In an ever-evolving and ever-expanding field of education, it is mind-boggling that there hasn’t been even a single major reform in the Indian education system in the last 34 years. The new National Education Policy (NEP) introduced by the Union Cabinet on 29th July 2020 was a long time coming and it doesn’t come as a surprise that it was welcomed as a breath of fresh air in this ancient and outdated system. These new changes are the dire need of the hour if India wants to compete at a global level in terms of the quality of education provided to the students. It’s incredible how so many generations went through those old norms, regulations, and policies which focused more on getting high scores and rote learning rather than on practical knowledge, common sense and personality development of a student. Since day one, the child has been shoved in the rat race and is expected to get more marks than everyone else in the class and if the child is unable to do that, he/ she is deemed to fail in the long run. Your scores have always determined what kind of student you are. Well, I, for one, hope that should not be the case anymore in the future.
The NEP 2020 is definitely a much-needed change if we want to catapult the Indian education system to a standard that we know it can achieve. Crores of students will now have a higher chance to pursue what they love from a very young age, and as far as my generation is concerned, we’re very glad to see that. We are happy to envisage that now kids will have a real shot to reach out to their dreams and set their goals right from a very young age. They would know that the education system has got their backs and will help them likely to achieve it.
The implications of NEP are expected to pay positive dividends in the long run and produce talented, bright young students coming from all the various backgrounds and from all walks of life. From establishing National Research Foundation which aims to foster robust research culture across higher education, to replace the ‘10+2’ system with ‘5+3+3+4’, the policies aim to get it right from the grassroots level itself. Nearly Rs 1,00,000 crores has been allocated to the educational sector in ‘Budget 2020’ and god willing, if everything goes as planned we just might achieve all the three central ideas of budget 2020, i.e. ‘Aspirational India’; ‘Economic Development’ and ‘A Caring Society’. Students of my generation know what it feels like to be in a rote-learning system and how adverse the repercussions are if you don’t get good marks in boards or final exams. The system needed an overhaul, if not in a major one, but it needed it. I have learned the value of optimism and would like to view the implications of NEP 2020 in the same way. Here’s to hoping that students understand what chance they have got in their hands and utilize it to maximize their chance of reaching their ultimate goal. (The writer is a student at SME, IIT Jodhpur. Views expressed here are personal. Email: [email protected])