According to an official statement, the new policy is being rolled out with objectives of access, equity, inclusiveness and quality. Prime Minister Modi said databases run by anganwadi centers should be seamlessly integrated with school records as children move there from anganwadi. He also called for their regular health checkups and screening in schools with the help of technology.
Transformative reforms initiated by the government
While praising the education policy, he said many transformative reforms have been launched which will define and drive the progress of the country as it enters the Amrit Kaal. These reforms include special efforts to track out-of-school children and bring them back into the mainstream and the introduction of multiple entry and exit into higher education.
In school education, initiatives such as quality ECCE at ‘Balavatika’, NIPUN Bharat, Vidya Pravesh, examination reforms and innovative pedagogies such as arts-embedded education, toys are adopted for better learning outcomes and holistic development of children.
The multiple entry-exit guidelines for flexibility and lifelong learning along with the launch of the College Credit Bank on the Digilocker platform will now allow students to study according to their convenience and choice.
UGC has also released guidelines that will allow students to pursue two academic programs simultaneously. It will further contribute to creating new opportunities for lifelong learning and centrally involving critical and interdisciplinary thinking in learners.
In addition to the above, UGC has notified the Open and Distance Education and Online Programs Regulations under which 59 higher education institutions offer 351 full-fledged online programs and 86 educational institutions higher offer 1081 ODL programs.
2,774 innovation councils set up to encourage start-ups
To foster a start-up and innovation ecosystem, 2,774 innovation councils have been set up at higher education institutions in 28 states and six union territories.
The Atal Ranking of Institutions for Innovation (ARIIA), aligned with the NEP, was launched last December to create a culture of research, incubation and start-ups.
No fewer than 1,438 institutions participated in ARIIA, 100 institutions were funded by AICTE with industry participation for experiential learning rather than rote learning.
Multimodal online learning
Open and online multimodal learning has been vigorously promoted by schools and higher education institutions.
This initiative has also helped reduce learning loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will go a long way in reaching education in inaccessible parts of the country.
Swayam, Diksha, Swayam Prabha, Virtual Labs and other online resource portals have all seen a surge in traffic and student registrations. These portals provide study materials in several Indian languages, sign language and audio formats for the visually impaired.
Emphasis on multilingualism in education
Emphasis has been placed on multilingualism in teaching and testing to ensure that lack of knowledge of English does not hinder a student’s academic success.
With this goal in mind, states are publishing bilingual and trilingual textbooks at the foundational level and content from the Diksha platform has been made available in 33 Indian languages.
Technical book writing is also underway in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.
Additionally, engineering courses will be offered in six Indian languages at 19 engineering colleges in 10 states from 2021-22.
(With agency contributions)