Polity & Governance Prelims cum Mains

Committee to submit new education policy by Oct 31

The News

  • A new education policy draft is likely to be delivered to the Centre by October 31.
  • It is expected to focus on rationalisation of school curriculum to reduce academic load and create more time for sports and snip off overlapping regulations.


Evolution of National Education Policy in India

1968 – First National Policy on Education under Indira Gandhi government:

  • Calling for a “radical restructuring” and to equalise educational opportunities in order to achieve national integration and greater cultural and economic development, the Indira Gandhi government announced the first National Policy on Education in 1968 based on the report and recommendations of the Education Commission (1964–1966).
  • Calling for fulfilling compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14 and the better training and qualification of teachers, the policy focused on learning of regional languages, outlining the “three language formula” to be implemented in secondary education.
  • The policy also encouraged the teaching of the ancient Sanskrit language, which was considered an essential part of India’s culture and heritage.
  • The NPE of 1968 called for education spending to increase to six percent of the national income.


1986 – National Policy on Education under Rajiv Gandhi govt:

  • Calling for “special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalise educational opportunity,” especially for Indian women, Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Scheduled Caste (SC) communities, the Rajiv Gandhi government introduced a new National Policy on Education in May, 1986.
  • The policy called for expanding scholarships, adult education, recruiting more teachers from the SCs, incentives for poor families to send their children to school regularly, development of new institutions and providing housing and services.
  • To have a “child-centred approach” in primary education, the new policy launched “Operation Blackboard” to improve primary schools nationwide.
  • The policy expanded the open university system with the Indira Gandhi National Open University, which was created in 1985.


1992- National Policy on Education under PV Narasimhao government:

  • The third NPE was promulgated in 1992 by the PV Narasimha Rao government, modifying the 1986 NPE.
  • The 1992 NPE aimed at conducting a common entrance examination on all India basis for admission to professional and technical programmes in the country.


2005- National Policy on Education under Manmohan Singh government:

  • In 2005, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh adopted a new policy based on the “Common Minimum Programme” of his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
  • The existing National Education Policy was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. Since then several changes have taken place that calls for a revision of the Policy.
  • The latest education policy was announced on June 30, 2016. The 43-page draft focused on addressing gender discrimination, the creation of educational tribunals, and a common curriculum for science, mathematics and English.
  • Revision of no-detention policy, promotion of Sanskrit, and bringing back Class X board examinations were some of the key changes that the policy carried out.



  • A new National Education Policy was part of the BJP election manifesto.
  • Initially the former cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian-headed panel was entrusted with the task of drafting the new NEP .The committee submitted its report in 2016.
  • However, the government set up the Kasturirangan committee with eight members in 2017 and asked it to frame the draft after taking inputs from the Subramanian committee report.
  • The deadline for the committee tasked with drafting the NEP was moved to October 31, 2018 after the third deadline of August 31 was extended in July 2018.
  • The draft policy could be presented in Parliament in the winter session.
  • After it’s submission, the ministry of human resource development will examine it to add or delete before presenting it to Parliament.
  • The National Policy on Education (NPE) will be rolled out in December.
  • The policy has been framed with a 20-year-vision (2020-2040).


Focus Areas

  • Stress on traditional language and Indian languages
  • Sports as an integral part of school curriculum
  • Mathematics
  • Overlapping and multiple regulatory mechanisms in higher education
  • Strengthening of public institutions

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