More grievances less suggestions lead to delay in New Education Policy in India

NEW DELHI,ROHINEE SINGH : Having received public grievances in the name of feedback from countrywide consultations on the New Education Policy (NEP), the five-member draft committee that was to submit its draft report by December 2015, is yet to make a submission.

Till three weeks ago, the committee was meeting individual stakeholders seeking opinion on NEP. The committee has so far missed three deadlines and is expected to take a few more months, before finalising the draft.

The human resource development (HRD) ministry had held nationwide consultations on the education policy. The ministry claims that it had reached out to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country seeking feedback. The consultation on NEP was held at blocks, local bodies and district level across the country seeking opinion and suggestions on the education policy. The suggestions received were handed over to the committee.

The ministry while handing over the feedback to the committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian had announced, that the draft report will be out by December.

However the committee went ahead to conduct five regional consultations and has also been meeting several stake holders and academicians seeking feedback on the new policy.

“The kind of suggestions received by the ministry are mostly public grievances coming in from villages and district. These suggestions do not show any way forward for the education sector,” said a source.

The suggestions that have been gathered from the grassroots level highlight the need of setting up schools in villages, creating infrastructure, filing in faculty positions and opening colleges in district.

To give the policy a concrete shape and to understand the objective of the new policy, the committee had to go ahead inviting academicians individually or in groups.

The earlier education policies were formed keeping in view the then needs of the country. The first policy of 1968 focused on equal opportunity and education for all. In the second policy of 1986, need for expansion of higher education was discussed. The policy of 1992 focused on technical and professional courses.

“While we discussed the various themes identified by the ministry, but the new policy in its current form lacks focus. So far we do not have a clarity on what is the policy aspiring at,” said a senior academician, who has been part of these consultations.