NEAP 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century and replaces the
thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NAPE), 1986. Built on the
foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and
Accountability, this policy is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development and aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and
global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education
more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed
at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student.
The policy has been formulated after a very detailed consultative process,
unprecedented in depth and scale. Consultation involved over 2 lake
suggestions from 2.5 lakes Gram Penchants, 6600 Blocks, 6000 U Lbs, 676
Districts. The M H R D had initiated a collaborative, inclusive, and highly
participatory consultation process from January 2015. In May 2016, ‘Committee
for Evolution of the New Education Policy’ under the Chairmanship of Late Sheri
T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary, submitted its report. Based on
this, the 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 Pad-ma
Vibhushan, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, which submitted the Draft National
Education Policy, 2019 to the Honorable Human Resource Development Minister
on 31st May, 2019. The Draft National Education Policy 2019 was uploaded on
Mansard’s website and at ‘My Gov Innovate’ portal eliciting
views/suggestions/comments of stakeholders, including public.
The salient features of the policy are as follows :
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Ensure Universal Access at All Levels of schooling from pre-primary
school to Grade 12
NEP 2020 aims to achieve 100% Gross Enrollment Ratio in school education by
- The initiatives that will be undertaken for this include provision of
effective and sufficient infrastructure, alternative and innovative education
cent-res to ensure that children who are dropping out of school are brought back
into mainstream education, universal participation in school by carefully
tracking students, as well as their learning levels. Counselors or well-trained
social workers connected to schools/school complexes and teachers will
2.continuously work with students and their parents to ensure that all school-age
children are attending and learning in school.
Early Childhood Care Education:
NEAP 2020 emphasis es on the criticality of the early years to ensure quality early
childhood care and education for all children between 3-6 years by 2025. A
National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and
Education (N C P F E C C E) for children up to the age of 8 will be developed by
N CERT. The planning and implementation of early childhood education will
be carried out jointly by the Ministries of H R D, Women and Child
Development (W C D), Health and Family Welfare (H F W), and Tribal Affairs.
The extant 10+2 structure in school education will be modified with a new
pedagogical and curricular restructuring of 5+3+3+4 covering ages 3-18.This
implies that there will be 3 years of curriculum framework for Anganwaadi/preschool level and 12 years for school in a 5+3+3+4 model. Currently, children in
the age group of 3-6 are not covered in the 10+2 structure as Class 1 begins at
age 6. In the new 5+3+3+4 structure, a strong base of Early Childhood Care and
Education (E C C E) from age 3 is also included
E C C E shall be delivered through a significantly expanded and strengthened
system of early-childhood education institutions consisting of stand-alone
Anganwadis,Anganwadis co-located with primary schools; per-primary
schools/sections covering at least age 5 to 6 years co-located with existing
primary schools; and stand-alone per-schools.All of above would have
workers/teachers specially trained in the curriculum and pedagogy of E C C E.
For universal access to E C C E, Anganwadi Cent-res will be strengthened. Prior
to the age of 5 every child will move to a “Preparatory Class” or “Balalaika”
(that is, before Class 1), which has an E C C E-qualified teacher.
Training of current Anganwadi workers/teachers: those with qualifications of
10+2 and above shall be given a 6-month certificate program me in E C C E; and
those with lower educational qualifications shall be given a one-year diploma
program me. These programmer may be run through digital/distance mode
allowing teachers to acquire E C C E qualifications with minimal disruption to
their current work.
New Curricular and Pedagogical Structure:
The curricular and pedagogical structure of school education: guided by a
5+3+3+4 design corresponding to the age ranges of 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18
3.years, respectively. It will consist of Foundational Stage (in two parts, that is,
3 years of Anganwadi/per-school + 2 years in primary school in Grades 1-2;
both together covering ages 3-8): with flexible, multilevel, play/activity-based
learning and the curriculum and pedagogy of E C C E.
Preparatory Stage (Grades 3-5, covering ages 8-11): with the introduction
Experiential learning across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and
Middle Stage (Grades 6-8, covering ages 11-14): with a subject-oriented
pedagogical and curricular style.
Secondary Stage (Grades 9-12 in two phases, i.e., 9 and 10 in the first and 11
and 12 in the second, covering ages 14-18) : with greater depth, greater critical
thinking, greater attention to life aspirations, and greater flexibility and student
choice of subjects, and option to exit at grade 10 and re-enter at a later stage in
The curricula will aim for holistic development of learners, equipping them
with the key 21st century skills, reduction in curricular content to enhance
essential learning and critical thinking and greater focus on experiential
learning. Students will have increased flexibility and choice of subjects so that
they choose their own paths according to their talents and interests. There will
be no rigid separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and
extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams. The
objective is to give equal emphasis on all subjects-science, social sciences, art,
languages, sports, mathematics – with integration of vocational and academic
streams in school.
A new and comprehensive National Curricular Framework for School
Education, N C F S E 2020-21, will be developed by the N C E R T.
High-quality textbook materials will be developed by N C E R T and S Certs.
States will prepare their own curricula and prepare textbooks incorporating state
flavor and material. The availability of textbooks in all regional languages will
be a top priority. Reducing the weight of school bags and textbooks will also be
ensured by suitable changes in curriculum load.
Attaining Foundational Literacy and Numeracy:
4.A National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be set-up on
priority to focus on early language and mathematical skills from Grades 1 to 3
by 2025. Strategies include:developing school readiness through interim 3-
month play-based school preparation module for all Grade 1 students; increased
focus on reading, writing, speaking, counting, arithmetic, and mathematical
thinking; continuous assessment and adaptive testing; national repository of
high-quality resources on foundational literacy and numeracy; filling teacher
vacancies; peer-tutoring and volunteer activities; setting up school libraries in
every village;.A National Book Promotion Policy will be formulated, and
initiatives to ensure the availability, accessibility, quality, and readership of
books across geographies, languages, levels, and genres will be undertaken.
Multilingualism and the power of language:
NEAP 2020 lays great emphasis on promoting multilingualism so that children
know and learn about the rich and vast array of languages of their country. The
medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and
beyond, will be the home language/ mother tongue /local language/regional
language. Every student in the country will participate in a fun project/activity
on ‘The Languages of India’, sometime in Grades 6-8, such as, under the ‘E
Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ initiative. Sanskrit will be offered at all levels of
school and higher education as an important, enriching option for students,
including as an option in the three-language formula. Other classical languages
and literature’s of India, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Odis,
Pauli, Persian, and Prakrit, will also be widely available in schools as options for
students. Foreign languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German,
Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, will also be offered at the secondary
level.Indian Sign Language (ISL) will be standardized across the country, and
National and State curriculum materials developed, for use by students with
There will be a shift from assumptive assessment to regular and formative
assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and
development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking,
and conceptual clarity. Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 will be continued,
but be reformed to eliminate the need for taking coaching classes. Board exams
will be redesigned to encourage holistic development; and will also be made
5.easier’, by testing core capacities/competencies. All students will be allowed to
take Board Exams on up to two occasions during any given school year, one
main examination and one for improvement, if desired. All students will take
school examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8 which will be conducted by the
A new National Assessment Cent re, PARAKEET (Performance Assessment,
Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set
up as a standard-setting body for setting norms, standards, and guidelines for
student assessment and evaluation for all recognized school boards of India,
guiding the State Achievement Survey (S A S) and undertaking the National
Achievement Survey (N A S), monitoring achievement of learning outcomes and
encouraging and helping school boards to shift their assessment patterns
towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century.
Equitable and inclusive education
N E P 2020 aims to ensure that no child loses any opportunity to learn and excel
because of the circumstances of birth or background. Special emphasis will be
given on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups(Sedge) which
include: gender identities (particularly female and transgender individuals),
sociology-cultural identities (such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OB-Cs,
and minorities), geographical identities (such as students from villages, small
towns, and aspiration districts), disabilities (including learning disabilities),
and sociology-economic conditions (such as migrant communities, low income
households, children in vulnerable situations, victims of or children of victims
of trafficking, orphans including child beggars in urban areas, and the urban
A separate Gender Inclusion fund will be created as also Special Education
Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
Children with disabilities will be enabled to fully participate in the regular
schooling process from the foundational stage to higher education. Recruitment
of special educators with cross-disability training, and establishment of resource
cent-res, wherever needed, especially for children with severe or multiple
disabilities will be supported. Schools and school complexes will be supported
for providing all children with disabilities accommodations and support
mechanisms tailored to suit their needs and to ensure their full participation in
6.the classroom. Assistive devices and appropriate technology-based tools, will be
made available to help children with disabilities integrate more easily into
classrooms and engage with teachers and their peers.
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. The unfertilized capacity of school infrastructure will be used to
promote social, intellectual, and volunteer activities for the community and to
promote social cohesion during non-teaching / schooling hours and may be used
as a “Samajik Chetna Kendra”.
Teacher recruitment and career path
Teachers will be recruited through robust, transparent processes. Promotions
will be merit-based, and a mechanism for multi-source periodic performance
appraisals will be put in place. Progression paths to become educational
administrators or teacher educators will be available for the teachers. A
common National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST) will be
developed by 2022, by the National Council for Teacher Education, in
consultation with N CERT, S Certs, teachers from across levels and regions,
expert bodies in vocational education, and higher education institutions etc. The
standards would cover expected roles of the teacher at different levels of
expertise/stage, and the competencies required for that stage. This could be
adopted by states to determine all aspects of teacher career management,
including tenure, professional development efforts, salary increases,
promotions, and other recognition’s. The professional standards will be reviewed
and revised in 2030, and thereafter every ten years.
School Governance: Schools can be organized into school complexes or
clusters which will be the basic unit of governance and administration that will
ensure availability of all resources including infrastructure, like academic
libraries and human resources e.g. art and music teachers along with a strong
professional teacher community.
Standard-setting and Accreditation for School Education
Regulation and operations of schools will be carried out by separate bodies to
eliminate conflicts of interest. It is envisaged to have clear, separate systems for
7.policy making, regulation, operations and academic matters.To ensure that all
schools follow certain minimal professional and quality standards, States/UT’s
will set up independent, State-wide body, State School Standards Authority
(SSA). Transparent public self-disclosure of all the basic regulatory
information, as laid down by the SSA, will be used extensively for public
oversight and accountability. The CERTS will develop a School Quality
Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQUAW) through consultations
with all stakeholders.
Public and private schools will be assessed and accredited on the same criteria,
benchmarks, and processes, emphasizing online and offline public disclosure
and transparency, so as to ensure that public-spirited private schools are
Vocational Education: By 2025, at least 50% of learners through the school
and higher education system shall have exposure to vocational education.
Beginning with vocational exposure at early ages in middle and secondary
school, quality vocational education will be integrated smoothly into higher
education. Vocational education will be integrated in the educational offerings
of all secondary schools in a phased manner over the next decade. Towards this,
secondary schools will also collaborate with I T I s, polytechnics, local industry,
etc. Every child to learn at least one vocation and exposed to several more. A
10-day bag-less period sometime during Grades 6-8 to intern with local
vocational experts such as carpenters, gardeners, potters, artists, etc. Similar
internship opportunities to learn vocational subjects to students throughout
Grades 6-12, including holiday periods. Vocational courses through online
mode will also be made available.
Increase GER in higher education to reach at least 50%by 2035.
The aim will be to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio in higher education
including vocational education from 26.3% (2018) to 50% by 2035.
Holistic Multidisciplinary Education
8.The policy envisages a broad-based multi-disciplinary holistic education at the
undergraduate level for integrated, rigorous exposure to science, arts,
humanities, mathematics and professional fields having imaginative and
flexible curricular structures, creative combinations of study, integration of
vocational education and multiple entry/exit points. A holistic and
multidisciplinary education will help develop well-rounded individuals who
possess critical 21st century capacities in fields across the arts, humanities,
languages, sciences, social sciences, and professional, technical, and vocational
fields; an ethic of social engagement; soft skills, such as communication,
discussion and debate; and rigorous specialization in a chosen field or fields.
Such a holistic education shall be, in the long term, the approach of all
undergraduate programmers, including those in professional, technical, and
The undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration, with
multiple exit options within this period, with appropriate certifications- a
certificate after completing 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational
and professional areas, or a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s
degree after a 3-year program me. The 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s
program me shall be the preferred option since it allows the opportunity to
experience the full range of holistic and multidisciplinary education in addition
to a focus on the chosen major and minors as per the choices of the student. An
Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) shall be established which would digitally
store the academic credits earned from various recognized Hies so that the
degrees from an HIE can be awarded taking into account credits earned.
Model public universities for holistic and multidisciplinary education,
Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities(Merwill be set up and will aim to attain the highest standards for multidisciplinary education
A number of initiatives will be taken to ensure optimal learning environments
are created that are engaging and supportive, and enable all students to succeed.
All institutions and faculty will have the autonomy to innovate on matters of
curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment within a broad framework of higher
education qualifications that ensures consistency across institutions and
programmers and across the O D L, online, and the traditional ‘in-class’ modes.
H E I s shall move to a criterion-based grading system that assesses student
achievement based on the learning goals for each program me, and also move
9.away from high-stakes examinations towards more continuous and
Universities and colleges will set up high-quality support cent-res and will be
given adequate funds and academic resources to encourage and support students
from sociology-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Professional academic
and career counselling will be available to all students, as well as counselors
to ensure physical, psychological and emotional well-being.
Rationalized Institutional Architecture
A new vision and architecture for higher education has been envisaged with
large, well-resourced, vibrant multidisciplinary institutions. Higher Education
Institutions will be transformed into large multidisciplinary universities,
colleges, and H E I clusters/Knowledge Hubs, each of which will aim to have
3,000 or more students. A university will mean a multidisciplinary institution of
higher learning that offers undergraduate and graduate programmer, with high
quality teaching, research, and community engagement. The definition of
university will allow a spectrum of institutions that range from Research-intensive Universities, Teaching-intensive Universities and Autonomous degree-granting Colleges (AC s).
The system of affiliation will be phased out over 15 years and a stage-wise
mechanism for granting graded autonomy to colleges, through a transparent
system of graded accreditation, will be established. Over a period of time, it is
envisaged that every college would develop into either an Autonomous degree-granting College, or a constituent college of a university.
National Research-foundation(N R F)
A new entity will be set up to catalyze and expand research and innovation
across the country. The overarching goal of the N R F will be to enable a culture
of research to permeate through our universities, helping to develop a culture of
research in the country through suitable incentives for and recognition of
outstanding research, and by undertaking major initiatives to seed and grow
research at State Universities and other public institutions where research
capability is currently limited. The N R F will competitively fund research in all
disciplines. Successful research will be recognized, and where relevant,
implemented through close linkages with governmental agencies as well as with
industry and private/philanthropic organizations
10.Financial support for students: Efforts will be made to incentive the merit
of students belonging to SC, ST, O B C, and other S E D G s. The National
Scholarship Portal will be expanded to support, foster, and track the progress of
students receiving scholarships. Private H E I s will be encouraged to offer larger
numbers of free ships and scholarships to their students.
Open and distance learning will be expanded, thereby playing a significant
role in increasing the Gross Enrollment Ratio to 50%. Measures such as online
courses and digital repositories, funding for research, improved student services,
credit-based recognition of MOOC s, etc., will be taken to ensure it is at par with
the highest quality in-class programmers.
Internationalization of 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.
Motivated, Energized, and Capable Faculty
NEAP 2020 recognizes that the success of higher education institutions is the
quality and engagement of its faculty. Hies will have clearly defined,
independent, and transparent processes and criteria for faculty recruitment.
Faculty will be given the freedom to design their own curricular and
pedagogical approaches within the approved framework. Excellence will be
further incentive through appropriate rewards, promotions, recognition’s, and
movement into institutional leadership. Faculty not delivering on basic norms
will be held accountable.
Effective Governance and leadership in H E Is
Through a suitable system of graded accreditation and graded autonomy, and in
a phased manner over a period of 15 years, all H E Is in India will aim to become
independent self-governing institutions pursuing innovation and excellence.
Measures will be taken at all H E Is to ensure leadership of the highest quality
and promote an institutional culture of excellence. Institutional governance
based on autonomy – academic, administrative and financial -is envisioned with
each higher education institution having an Board of Governors. All leadership
positions and Head of institutions will be offered to persons with high academic
11.qualifications and demonstrated administrative and leadership capabilities along
with abilities to manage complex situations
There will be a single overarching umbrella body for promotion of higher
education- the Higher Education Commission of India (H E C I)- with
independent bodies for standard setting- the General Education Council;
funding-Higher Education Grants Council (H E G C); accreditation- National
Accreditation Council (N A C); and regulation- National Higher Education
Regulatory Council (N H E R C). Regulation will be ‘light but tight’ to ensure
financial probity and public-spiritless to eliminate conflicts of-interest wit
transparent self-disclosure as the norm not an inspector regime. The
regulatory body will function through a faceless intervention through
technology for regulation & will have powers to penalize H E Is 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
Teacher Education: The 4-year integrated stage-specific, subject- specific
Bachelor of Education offered at multidisciplinary institutions would be the way
forward. A new and comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for
Teacher Education, N C F T E 2021, will be formulated by the N C T E in
consultation with N C E R T. By 2030, the minimum degree qualification for
teaching will be a 4-year integrated B.Ed. degree that teaches a range of
knowledge content and pedagogy and includes strong practicum training in the
form of student-teaching at local schools.Stringent action will be taken against
substandard stand-alone Teacher Education Institutions (T E I s).
A National Mission for Mentoring shall be established, with a large pool of
outstanding senior/retired faculty – including those with the ability to teach in
Indian languages – who would be willing to provide short and long-term
mentoring/professional support to university/college teachers.
All professional education will be an integral part of the higher education
system.Stand-alone technical universities, health science universities, legal and
12.agricultural universities, or institutions in these or other fields, will aim to
become multi-disciplinary institutions.
Technology in Education
An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (N E T F),
will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of
technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration.
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 and streamline
educational planning, administration and management. Technology-based
education platforms, such as D I K S H A/SWAY-AM, will be better integrated
across school and higher education. H E Is will play an active role in conducting
research on disruptive technologies and in creating instructional materials and
courses including online courses in cutting-edge domains.
Online Education and Digital Education: A comprehensive set of
recommendations for promoting online education consequent in the recent rise
in epidemics and pandemics in order to ensure preparedness with alternative
modes of quality education whenever and wherever traditional and in-person
modes of education are not possible, has been covered. A dedicated unit for the
purpose of orchestrating the building of digital infrastructure, digital content
and capacity building will be created in the M H R D to look after the e-education
needs of both school and higher education.
The policy aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.
Promotion of Indian languages
To ensure the preservation, growth, and vibrancy of all Indian languages,
several initiatives are envisaged. More H E Is, and more programmer in higher
education, will use the mother tongue/local language as a medium of
instruction, and/or offer programmer bilingually, in order to increase access and
GER and also to promote the strength, usage, and vibrancy of all Indian
languages. An Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (I I T I) will be
established. Sanskrit and all Indian language institutes and departments across
the country will be significantly strengthened. National Institute
for Pauli, Persian and Prakrit will be set up. Efforts to preserve and promote all
Indian languages including classical, tribal and endangered languages will be
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Multiple mechanisms with checks and balances will combat and stop the
commercialization of higher education. All education institutions will be held to
similar standards of audit and disclosure as a ‘not forprofit’ entity. The Centre
and the States will work together to increase the public investment in Education
sector to reach 6% of GDP at the earliest.
The Central Advisory Board of Education will be strengthened to ensure
coordination to bring overall focus on quality education. The remodeled and
rejuvenated CABE shall also be responsible for developing, articulating,
evaluating, and revising the vision of education in the country on a continuous
basis, in close collaboration with MHRD and the corresponding apex bodies of
States. It shall also create and continuously review the institutional frameworks
that shall help attain this vision.
Ministry of Education: In order to bring the focus back on education and
learning, it may be desirable to re-designate MHRD as the Ministry of Education