NEP 2020 : Cohesive Improvement And Moderation Required - Eastern Mirror
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NEP 2020 : Cohesive Improvement and Moderation Required

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 12, 2020 7:02 pm

Education has always been a contentious issue in Indian politics. As a post-colonial nation on the path towards modernisation education was a pre requisite for the development of the fledgling nation. Therefore, any change in policies or laws pertaining to education remains highly controversial. This also holds true for the new national educational policy. Given the importance of education policy, lawmakers have to ensure that it meets the demands of various sections of society. It has the dual task of improving the pre-existing system and also adds to the infrastructural facilities. The development of infrastructure is especially important given the fact that a large section of the population are unable to access quality education. Moreover, given the unique and the diverse history of the country the national education policy also has to take into account the differing challenges faced by citizens in different parts of the country. Therefore this process cannot be seen as a joint effort between all stakeholders.

One of the major areas of contention is the distribution of the financial burden between the Central and the state governments. In a sector like education, where the bulk of the operation is within the domain of the states and 75-80% of the total public expenditure is incurred by the states, the marginalisation of the state government reflects a concerning trend. A look at the history of educational policy making in India highlights the important role played by the state government in the implementation of these policies. The NPE in 1968 acknowledged the importance of a partnership between the Union and the federal governments by stating explicitly that the union government would ‘in addition to undertaking programmes in the central sector, assist the state governments for the development of programmes of national importance where coordinated action on the part of the states and the Centre was called for’. In the NPE 1986, which came a decade after the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution that moved education from the State List to the Concurrent, the policy was still alive to the importance of cooperation between the Central government and the states. It clarified that ‘concurrency signifies a partnership, which is at once meaningful and challenging; the national policy will be oriented towards giving effect to it in letter and spirit’.

The new NEP (2020) intends to change various long standing structures and practices which would require careful planning, financial backing and cooperation from the state governments. Hence it is very important for the Central government to look into the feedback provided by state governments. But one thing is sure that without help from state governments, no Central policy will be able to claim success. There is no need to take it as a bone of contention between the Centre and the state governments. It is simply a policy announced by the Central government in accordance to its intention to benefit lakhs of students in the country. But the policy can always be improved. Scopes for moderating it, have not been closed for ever. So, both the Centre and the states should keep on discussing the policy regularly to bring out the best from our children.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 12, 2020 7:02:57 pm
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