National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 & Scope Of Holistic Growth

Author : Shreya Mukherjee

The NEP formulated in 1968 was modified in 1986. 34 years following that, a reformed and redesigned policy has been released. The goal of the NEP 2020 is to bring to the educational field holistic learning of students and a curriculum that matched the needs of the modern century. The learning begins from the very formative years, from the age of 3. The policy has planned changes in several fields, covering pre-school till higher education in universities. The policy has put forth various structural changes that will reshape the culture of education in India.

How Does It Cultivate Holistic Learning?

Putting aside the culture of rote learning, the NEP 2020 wants to inculcate in students skills befitting a citizen of the 21st century. Such skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, scientific temperament, knowledge of their country’s culture and history, multilingualism.


How Has The Curriculum Restructured?

The redesigned curriculum will be patterned as 5+3+3+4. Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) will be implemented which starts from age 3.

The academic curriculum will be reduced to its core essentials and conceptual understanding will the purpose. Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) will be implemented which starts from age 3. Experiential learning will be adopted at all stages. Cross-curricular pedagogical approaches of culture arts-integrated and sports-integrated education that utilizes various aspects and forms of art and culture and physical activities are to be employed.

The medium of instruction will be mother-tongue or local language until at least Grade 5. Besides, various foreign languages will be offered. Exams to be held in Grade 3,5 and the Board exams will become easier focused more on conceptual clarity. Flexible subject options break the rigid separation of sciences, humanities and commerce. There will be no hard separation between extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, rather all forms of industrious activities will be given credit for a well-rounded education; physical fitness and soft skills in an individual will be given as much credit as their academic achievement. Mathematics and computational thinking will be given increased emphasis throughout the school years.

The use of technology has also been encouraged equitably to enhance the learning experience of students.

The Inclusion Of Vocational Studies.

Vocational studies and internships to be offered at starting Grade 6-8 to equip students with practical experience. Children gain hands-on experience of a sampling of important vocational crafts, such as carpentry, electric work, metalwork, gardening, pottery making, etc., Coding classes to introduced in Grade 6 as well which is a useful asset in today’s digital world. The assessment of children on report cards will become multidimensional including not just academics but their cognitive development and applied skills too.

Drawing Attention To Physical & Mental Health

The mental wellbeing of children to be taken more seriously. Counsellors to be available in schools for guidance. Fitness and physical education will be paid attention to and considered essential for the well-rounded development of the child. Moral and ethical values to be inculcated in children from a young age.


Several curriculum and structural changes have been made in the arena of higher education. A four-year multi-disciplinary Bachelor’s degree has been reintroduced with multiple entries and exit options available, which provide certificate, diploma and degree, depending on the duration of their study. Undertaking a PhD shall require either a Master’s degree or a 4-year Bachelor’s degree with Research. M.Phil, courses to be eliminated. Single-stream HEIs will be phased out over time. The goal is to eventually integrate STEM with arts and humanities.

Institutions will have the option to run ODL and online programs. Model public universities for holistic and multidisciplinary education, at par with IITs, IIMs, etc., called MERUs (Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities) will be set up and will aim to attain the highest global standards in quality education. The establishment of a National Research Foundation to fund outstanding peer-reviewed research and to actively seed research in universities and colleges will also be organized. Graded autonomy will be granted to colleges.

Colleges will be encouraged, mentored, supported, and incentivized to gradually attain the minimum benchmarks required for each level of accreditation of the system.

With the establishment of the National Research Foundation, the policy hopes to enable a culture of research to permeate through our universities through their structured research funding. Institutions that currently fund research at some level, such as the DST, DAE, DBT, ICHR, and UGC will continue to independently fund research according to their discretion.

The goals set by the NEP 2020 would certainly be beneficial to students, paving the way for a more resourceful and efficient culture of education. The ambitious targets of the NEP will take fruit in no less than a decade, as projected by the MHRD, and we keenly look forward to a smarter and educated India.

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