The time frames of several provisions of National Education Policy 2020, designed in a pre-pandemic situation, make it difficult to figure out their implications in a rapidly changing, unpredictable world.
The National Education Policy(NEP) 2020, approved by the union cabinet and announced on July 31, evoked a variety of responses. Immediately afterwards, Education secretary, Amit Khare, announced the speedy implementation of its provisions that would not have immediate financial implications. This, in itself, raises questions. If educational institutions mobilise and are taken over by those who can afford to do so, the ongoing process of privatisation will probably proceed at a faster speed. These possibilities are worrying, to say the least.
As many as a hundred recommendations are apparently in the pipeline, many of which are to be initiated within a month. Therefore, examining the provisions and implications of the policy acquire a certain urgency. Here I focus on two issues- timelines and traditions, even as there is much more that deserves and hopefully receive attention.
First, Khare’s immediate timeline. This pertains primarily to higher education. Academic credit transfers are expected to be put in place by December 2020 for select institutions; multiple exits and entry points into higher education will be available from 2020-2021; the four-year degree programme will be introduced by 2021 for Central universities and for others by 2022.