Higher Education – RUSA, NIRF, HEFA, etc.

Overview of National Education Policy


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Education Policy 2020

Mains level: Paper 2- Proposals in Education Policy 2020

The Education Policy 2020 comes with many changes in education in the country. Key aspects of the policy are discussed in the article.


  •  National Education Policy 2020 is the fourth major policy initiative in education since Independence.
  • The last one was undertaken a good 34 years ago and modified in 1992.
  • NEP 2020 seeks to address the entire gamut of education from preschool to doctoral studies.

Challenges India faces in education

  • Lack of resources and capacity.
  • Dozens of mother tongues, a link language that despite being the global language of choice is alien to most.
  • A persistent mismatch between the knowledge and skills imparted and the jobs available.

Follwing are the key aspects of the policy-

1) 5+3+3+4 Model

  • A 5+3+3+4 model recognises the primacy of the formative years from ages 3 to 8 in shaping the child’s future.
  • It also recognises the importance of learning in the child’s mother tongue till at least Class 5.
  • As picking up languages is easy between ages 3 and 8, children will learn English and mother tongue together.
  • Multilingual felicity could become the USP of the educated Indian.
  • The policy envisages 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030.

2) Flexibility in choosing subjects and vocational education

  • Another key aspect of new policy is the breaking of the compartments of arts, commerce and science streams in high school.
  • Policy also aims at introducing vocational courses with internship.
  • The ‘blue-collarisation’ of vocations in our society is also a hurdle to be overcome.
  • NEP 2020 proposes a multi-disciplinary higher education framework with portable credits.
  • An ambitious GER of 50% in higher education is envisaged by 2035.
  • At the apex will be Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities, where research will be supported by a new National Research Foundation.

3) Question of regualtion

  • NEP 2020 aims to free our schools, colleges and universities from periodic “inspections” and place them on the path of self-assessment and voluntary declaration.
  • Transparency, maintaining quality standards and a favourable public perception will become a goal for the institutions.
  • This will lead to all-round improvement in their standard.
  • A single, lean body with four verticals for standards-setting, funding, accreditation and regulation is proposed to provide “light but tight” oversight.

4) Addressing deprivation

  • Inequality and challenges faced by the disadvantaged and disabled have been considered in NEP.
  • The NEP lays particular emphasis on providing adequate support to ensure that no child is deprived of education, and every challenged child is provided the special support she needs.

5) Ancient knowledge

  • The long-neglected ancient Indian languages and Indic knowledge systems are also identified for immediate attention.

Resource challenge

  •  An ambitious target of public spending on education at 6% of GDP has been set.
  • This is certainly a tall order, given the current tax-to-GDP ratio and competing claims on the national exchequer by other key sectors.
  •  If public and political will can be mustered, resources will find their way from both public and private sources.

Consider the question “What are the measures proposed in the Education Policy 2020 for higher education.”


Resources are never the main roadblock to success in education. NEP 2020 provides the ingredients and the right recipe. What we make of it depends entirely on us.

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