With the National Education Policy (NEP) set to complete two years on July 29, 2022, post its roll out, 2,774 Innovative Councils in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in 28 states and six union territories (UTs) have been established, as per an internal progress report by the Ministry of Education. It should be noted that FinancialExpress.com (FE Education Online) has access to the same and seen the report. Furthermore, the report revealed that 2,000 institutions in higher education are set to begin as skill hubs and of this 700 have registered on the common portal of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Furthermore, a single national online internship platform has been established in which 5,881 HEIs in which 69.1 lakh students have registered. In addition, a budget of Rs 3,054 crore has been allocated for the National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) to cover nine lakh youth.
NEP which was launched on July 29, 2020 was created with an aim to focus on holistic development of an individual with the help of flexible curriculum with creative combinations of subjects such as mathematics with music, art among others. The policy has emphasised to integrate vocational education with mainstream education, multiple entry and exit, establishment of Academic Bank of Credit, Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITI), introduction of four-year integrated Bachelors of Education (BEd) (Dual Major) among others.
Promotion of Indian language through education is believed to be another of focus among crucial reforms in NEP. All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has approved 19 engineering colleges to impart courses in six Indian languages in the academic year 2021-22, revealed the report. According to AICTE, it has allocated a budget of Rs 18.6 crore to develop second-year course material in English and translate into 12 Indian languages, for the academic year 2022-23. AICTE has claimed that 40 institutes across 10 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have come forward to start engineering education in one or more disciplines in six Indian Languages — Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu with a total intake capacity of 2,070 students in 2022-23, as of now.
NEP further includes reforms for open and distance education, online and digital education. For which the University Grants Commission (UGC) has already notified regulations and 59 HEIs now offer 351 full-fledged online programmes and 85 HEIs offer Online Distance Learning (ODL) programmes. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has made 40% of its courses online, as per Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor, IGNOU. In addition, over 153 universities have adopted Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) courses and the number of courses have increased to almost 800 in a semester from 100 with 1052 courses available in more than one languages under SWAYAM Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).
On the school level, the government has introduced several reforms in NEP to promote creative thinking and 21st century skills among learners through art-integrated education. The reforms are emphasised on early childhood care and education along with assessment of learning outcomes through Structured Assessments for Analysing Learning (SAFAL) and National Achievement Survey (NAS).
As a part of NEP, the new curricular structure 5+3+3+4 has been introduced. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has started work on the formulation of the National Curricular Framework for School Education (NCFSE) for which the mandate document was released in April 2022 by, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Other initiatives such as Nipun Bharat– guidelines for National Mission for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy was launched in July5, 2021 followed by three months play based school preparation module- Vidya Pradesh on July 29, 2021, Nishtha 3.0 on foundational literacy and numeracy with 12 modules for about 25 lakhs primary teachers on September 2, 2021.