Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016
Ministry of Human Resource Development
Government of India
2. Key challenges in the Education Sector
3. Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives of the National Education Policy
4. Policy Framework
4.1. Pre-school Education
4.2. Protection of Rights of the Child and Adolescent Education
4.3. Learning outcomes in School Education
4.4. School Education
4.5. Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms
4.6. Inclusive Education and Student Support
4.7. Literacy and Lifelong Learning
4.8. Skills in Education and Employability
4.9. Use of ICT in Education
4.10. Teacher Development and Management
4.11. Language and Culture in Education
4.12. Self Development through Comprehensive Education
4.13. School Assessment and Governance
4.14. Governance Reforms in Higher Education
4.15. Regulation in Higher Education
4.16. Quality Assurance in Higher Education
4.17. Open and Distance Learning and MOOCs
4.18. Internationalisation of Higher Education
4.19. Faculty Development in Higher Education
4.20. Research, Innovation and New Knowledge
4.21. Financing Educatio
5. Implementation and Monitoring
India has always accorded high importance to education. The Education System which was
evolved first in ancient India is known as the Vedic system. The ultimate aim of education
in ancient India was not knowledge, as preparation for life in this world or for life beyond,
but for complete realization of the self. The Gurukul system fostered a bond between the
Guru & the Shishya and established a teacher centric system in which the pupil was
subjected to a rigid discipline and was under certain obligations towards his/her teacher.
The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. The University of
Nalanda, or the Nalanda Mahavira as it was known at the time, established in 4th century
BCE, was one of the world’s first great universities in the world. In its heyday, in the 7th
century AD, Nalanda University had some 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The subjects
taught at Nalanda University covered diverse fields of learning covering science,
astronomy, medicine, and logic as diligently as they applied themselves to metaphysics,
philosophy, Samkhya, Yoga-shastra, the Veda, and the scriptures of Buddhism and foreign
philosophy. Transcending ethnic and national boundaries, Nalanda University attracted
pupils and scholars from China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Persia, Turkey and other parts of
Indian scholars like Charaka and Susruta, Aryabhata, Bhaskaracharya, Chanakya, Patanjali
and Vatsayayna and numerous others made seminal contribution to the world knowledge
in such diverse fields as mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, medical science and
surgery, fine arts, mechanical and production technology, civil engineering and
architecture, shipbuilding and navigation, sports and games. During the freedom struggle,
several leaders like Gokhale, Ram Mohan Roy, Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Gandhiji
worked for better education for the people of India.
The concern for the improvement of education had been at the top of India’s development
agenda since independence. Several commissions were appointed by the government of
India from time to time to formulate policies and programmes required to enhance access
to and participation in education and improve quality of education. Prominent among them
include: the University Education Commission (1948-49), the Secondary Education
Commission (1952-53), the Education Commission (1964-66), and the National
Commission on Teachers – I & II (1983-85).
The Resolution on National Policy on Education (1968) formulated on the basis of the
recommendations of the Education Commission, laid stress on the need for a radical
reconstruction of the education system, to improve its quality at all stages, and the
development of science and technology, the cultivation of moral and social values, and a
closer relation between education and the life of the people. The Resolution stressed the
role of education in promoting national progress, a sense of common citizenship and
culture, and in strengthening national integration. The National Policy on Education 1986
(revised in 1992) envisaged a National system of education which implies that “up to a
given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, have access to
education of a comparative quality”.
The 42nd Constitutional Amendment in1976 brought about a fundamental change by
transferring education from the State List to the Concurrent List thereby recognizing
the importance of the federal structure of our country and giving equal primacy to
both the central and state governments as partners in furthering the educational goals
in a cohesive manner. Any policy on education has to acknowledge the inter-sectoral
and inter-ministerial nature of a holistic education process and the important role to
be played by the States. This Policy therefore recognizes the role to be played by the
other national level policies such as, the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and
Education (ECCE) adopted in 2013, National Youth Policy (NYP), 2014 and the National
Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 and numerous other State level
Since the formulation of the National Policy on Education, 1986/92, significant changes
have taken place in India and the world at large. India’s political, social and economic
development is passing through a phase which necessitates a robust and forward looking
education system. A major development relating to education sector in India has been the
establishment of Constitutional and legal underpinnings for achieving universal elementary
education. The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 that inserted Article 21-
A in the Constitution of India envisages free and compulsory education for all children in
the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right in such a manner as the
State may, by law, determine. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education
(RTE) Act, 2009 which represents the consequential legislation envisaged under Article
21-A of the Indian constitution entitles every child of the age of six to fourteen year
with the right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till
completion of elementary education.
Significant changes have taken place in the education sector. The educational activities and
learning process are no longer confined to the classroom and, therefore, the domain of
education is no longer limited to formal schooling or higher education. The educational
process is not only mediated by classroom-based curriculum transaction but also by media,
both electronic and print, information and communication technologies, books and
journals etc. Learners today have access to more current knowledge through non-
The fast pace of generation and application of new knowledge, especially in the fields of
science and technology, and its impact on the daily life of people brings into focus the
importance of introducing learners to the rapidly changing world of knowledge. The need
for the development of human skills, including life skills, that meet the demands of the
emerging knowledge economy and society highlights the need to promote the acquisition
by learners of knowledge and skills on a life-long basis to enhance their capacity to adapt
to changing skill requirements. The changing social contexts of education as well as the
national concerns for achieving the goals of equity and inclusion demands a changed
approach to education for enhancing opportunities for all learners to become successful in
their learning experience and making all educational institutions responsive to the learning
needs of diverse student population groups in order to ensure equitable educational
outcomes for all.
The use of new information and communication technologies, especially of internet, has
expanded dramatically during the past few years. New technologies are transforming the
way in which people live, work, and communicate. The new technologies have brought
about easy access to new pools of information and learning resources and new learning
opportunities for learners. Integration of new technologies into educational settings has
emerged as a priority task in the education sector.
The above developments imply that the education policies and the content and process of
education must evolve with the changing times and needs. The goals, structure, content
and processes of education need renewal keeping in view the experiences gained in the
past and the concerns and imperatives that have emerged in the light of changing
national development goals and societal needs as well as the dynamics of the local,
national, regional and global realities and changes, including the changing learning needs
of children, youth and adults. The National Education Policy, 2016 which is designed to
guide the renewal process in education in India represents an attempt in this direction.
The National Education Policy, 2016 envisions a credible education system capable of
ensuring inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all and
producing students/graduates equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values
that are required to lead a productive life, participate in the country’s development
process, respond to the requirements of the fast-changing, ever-globalising,
knowledge-based societies, and developing responsible citizens who respect the Indian
tradition of acceptance of diversity of India’s heritage, culture and history and promote
social cohesion and religious amity. This vision recognizes the central role of education in
India’s social, economic, political, and cultural development. Mahatma Gandhi said, “The
real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of
education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock
exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to
earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated.”
Inspired by the thoughts of the Father of the Nation, the Policy brings into focus the role of
education in inculcating values, providing skills and competencies to citizens, and enabling
them to contribute to the nation’s wellbeing. It recognizes that long-term economic growth
and development of the nation critically depends upon the quality of the products of the
education system and that an education system built on the premises of quality and equity
is central to sustainable development and to achieving success in the emerging knowledge
economy and society. It recognizes education as the most potent tool for socio-economic
mobility and a key instrument for building an equitable, just and human society. It also
recognizes the education as an integrative force in society, and its role in imparting values
that foster social cohesion and national identity. The vision also implies that good quality
education will help amalgamate globalization with localization, enabling India’s children
and youth to become global citizens, with their roots deeply embedded in Indian culture
The National Education Policy, 2016 provides a framework for the development of
education in India over the coming few years. It seeks to address both the unfinished
agenda relating to the goals and targets set in the previous national policies on education
and the current and emerging national development and education sector-related
challenges. Recognising the importance of quality education in national development, the
NEP 2016 places an unprecedented focus on significantly improving the quality of
education at all levels and on ensuring that educational opportunities are available to all
segments of the society.
In the words of Sri Aurobindo, “The Indians must have the firm faith that India must rise and
be great and that everything that happened, every difficulty, every reverse must help and
further their end. … … . The dawn would soon be complete and the sun rise over the
horizon. The sun of India’s destiny would rise and fill all India with its light and overflow
India and overflow Asia and overflow the world.” The rest of the 21st century could then
belong to India.
Key Challenges in Education Sector
The earlier policies on education have laid out clear objectives and goals; however, many of
these have not been realized fully. Though India has made significant progress in terms of
enhancing access to and participation in all levels of education, the overall picture of
education development in the country is mixed and there are many persisting concerns and
challenges relating to access to and participation in education, quality of the education
imparted, equity in education, system efficiency, governance and management, research and
development, and financial commitment to education development.
Access and Participation
Research from around the world highlights the importance of early childhood education.
However, participation in pre-school education remains low. Expanding access to early
childhood education to provide equal opportunity to all children to prepare them better for
formal schooling emerges to be a high priority task.
Nationally the percentage of out-of-school children aged 6-13 years has declined
significantly since 2000. However, the absolute number of out-of-school children remains
high. The relatively lower enrolment rates in upper primary and secondary education as
compared to primary education are also a matter of concern. Ensuring upward
transition/mobility of students from elementary to secondary to achieve universal
secondary education and from secondary to higher secondary and tertiary education
continues to be a challenge.
India has the second largest higher education system in the world. Although the Indian
higher education has already entered a stage of massification, the Gross Enrolment Ratio in
higher education remains low at 23.6 percent in 2014-15. The current target is to increase
GER to 25.2 per cent in 2017-18 and further to 30 per cent in 2020-21.
The relatively slow progress in reducing the number of non-literates continues be a
concern. India currently has the largest non-literate population in the world with the
absolute number of non-literates among population aged 7 and above being 282.6 million
in 2011. India also hosts the largest number of youth and adult illiterates in the world with
the youth literacy rate (15-24 years) and adult literacy rate (15 years and above) in India in
2011 being 86.1 percent and 69.3 percent respectively.
Poor quality of education resulting in unsatisfactory learning outcomes is a matter of great
concern. Quality-related deficiencies such as inappropriate curriculum, the lack of trained
educators and ineffective pedagogy remain a major challenge relating to pre-school
education. A significant proportion of children who complete pre-school education do not
have school readiness competencies in cognitive and language domains when they join
primary school. The majority of pre-school educators are inadequately trained/prepared.
The curricula for pre-school education in many cases continue to be a downward extension
of the primary education curriculum.
The biggest challenge facing school education relates to the unsatisfactory level of student
learning. The findings of the National Achievement Surveys (NAS) covering Grades III, V,
VIII and X suggest that learning levels of a significant proportion of students do not
measure up to the expected learning levels. Poor quality of learning at the primary and
upper primary stages affects student learning at the secondary stage. Poor quality of
learning at the secondary stage spills over to the college/university years, leading to poor
learning outcomes in the higher education sector.
Several factors have contributed to unsatisfactory quality of school education. Some of
these include: existence of a large proportion of schools that are not compliant to the
prescribed norms and standards for a school; student and teacher absenteeism; serious
gaps in teacher motivation and training resulting in deficiencies relating to teacher quality
and performance; slow progress in regard to use of information and communication
technologies in education; sub-optimal personnel management, inadequate attention to
monitoring and supervision of performance etc. The perceived failure of the schools in the
government system to provide education of good quality has triggered entry of a large
number of private schools, many of which lack required infrastructure, learning
environment, and competent teachers.
The quality of education provided in a large number of higher education institutions is a
matter of great concern. Accreditation agencies were established in India in 1994 as a
measure of quality assurance in order to enhance standards of higher education. Of the 140
universities accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), only
32 percent are rated as A grade. Among the 2,780 colleges accredited by the NAAC, only 9
percent are rated as A grade. Among the accredited institutions, 68 percent of the
universities and 91 percent of the colleges are rated average or below average in terms of
the quality parameters specified by the NAAC. There has been mushroom growth of private
colleges and universities, many of them of indifferent quality. The higher education sub-
sector is constrained by shortage of well-qualified faculty due to vacant faculty positions;
poor infrastructure in many private as well as a significant proportion of public higher
education institutions; slow progress in the renewal of higher education curriculum to
align it more closely with the skills demanded in a diversified economy; and inadequate
funding for research and development.
Skills and Employability
India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54 percent of its total
population below 25 years of age. This necessitates that the youth in the country are
equipped with the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce through education and
training. However, the institutional arrangements to support technical and vocational
education programmes remain quite inadequate. Formally linking the development of skills
in vocational fields, and bringing an academic equivalence to vocational accomplishments
with avenues for horizontal and vertical mobility of students has been attempted only
recently. Fostering dignity and social acceptability to high quality vocational training needs
A large proportion of the products of the education system are found to lack employable
skills. This has substantially lowered the credibility of the higher education system. The
utility of higher education in assuring employment remains questionable. Many graduate
and post-graduate students do not get jobs in their respective fields. The task of enhancing
the employability of the products of the education system ought to be accorded high
Curriculum and Assessment
There is a growing realisation that there exist serious disconnects between the existing
school and higher education curricula and the curricular thrusts that are needed for
promoting the acquisition by students of relevant skills required for decent work and a
better life in a rapidly changing world. A key challenge in this context is expanding
opportunities for acquiring relevant skills, including skills needed for work and
entrepreneurship; skills and competencies that allow learners to be more creative and
innovative, to think critically, to communicate effectively, to solve problems independently;
and life skills that enable individuals to grow as responsible citizens and embrace cultural
diversity, live and work together harmoniously, etc. The overall assessment practices at the
school and college/university level remain unsatisfactory. In most cases the assessment of
learning achievement continues to focus on rote learning and testing the students’ ability to
reproduce content knowledge. The whole assessment system needs to be revamped to
ensure comprehensive assessment of the students, including learning outcomes relating to
both scholastic and co-scholastic domains.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have made rapid strides in the past
couple of decades. Many experiments have taken place in the country, and a large body of
knowledge has accumulated in regard to the use of ICT in education. However, the potential
of ICT in education has not been fully harnessed. The use of ICT in education remains
limited and there is a need to accelerate efforts to use ICT for fostering quality education.
Teacher Development and Management
In spite of the continued efforts for improving teacher quality and performance, the system
for initial professional preparation and continuing professional development of school
teachers continue to be charaterised by several deficiencies. The current teacher education
and training programmes are considered inappropriate in terms of equipping the teachers
with the competencies required to cope with the new profile and roles expected of teachers
and to enable them to carry out their duties in diverse social, economic, cultural and
technological environments. The exists a continued mismatch between institutional
capacity and required teacher supply resulting in shortage of teachers. The problem is
acute in the eastern part of the country where there is a huge backlog of untrained
teachers. The capacity to train teachers is also very limited in these States. Research,
experimentation and innovations in teacher education remain very limited. These
deficiencies have brought about an erosion in the professional identity of teachers and the
status of teaching as a profession. The issues relating to the capacity, motivation and
accountability of teachers to achieve improvements in learning outcomes of students need
to be urgently addressed.
Though substantial progress has been achieved in increasing enrolment in pre-school
education, children from disadvantaged population groups still lack access to pre-school
education. Children from economically disadvantaged groups are more likely to receive
less opportunity to participate in pre-primary education.
Despite considerable progress, enrolment rates in upper primary and secondary education
in some states remain well below the national average. While there has been a rise in the
demand for secondary education and increase in the number of secondary schools, the
spread of secondary education throughout the country remains uneven. Regional
disparities continue, as do differences in access depending on the socio-economic
background of students.
Though the number of out-of-school children (OOSC) has declined significantly since 2000,
the number and proportion of out-of-school children remain much higher than the national
average in some states. The proportion of OOSC has been higher than the national average
for SC children, ST children and Muslim children. This indicates that these children need
greater and focused attention.
Regional disparities in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education are large. In 2011-
12 GER in higher education ranged between 8.4 percent in Jharkhand and 53 percent in
Chandigarh. Similarly, the variations among the social groups too are considerable the
Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education remains low at 23.6 percent (24.5% for boys,
22.7% for girls; 18.5% for SCs and 13.3% for STs) in 2014-15. One of the challenges faced
by the higher education sector in India is to harmonize the expansion requirements with
Most states have successfully integrated inclusive strategies to facilitate enrolment and
retention of disadvantaged population groups in primary education. Despite these efforts,
children from certain sections of the population, such as children with disabilities, children
in remote locations, children belonging to nomadic families, migrant children, and other
vulnerable/disadvantaged groups have not been able to take full benefit of the educational
opportunities. Urban poor children constitute another group of children whose
participation in education remains low. Ensuring access to education for the hardest-to-
reach section of population remains one of the key priorities in the context of efforts to
achieve universal elementary and secondary education.
The findings of the National Learning Achievement Surveys reveal significant differences in
the average achievement levels of students between States/UTs. They also indicate that
urban students are performing significantly better than rural students; students in private
unaided schools performed marginally better than government schools; students from the
general category and OBC category performed better than the SC and ST students. These
findings suggest a serious challenge to the goal of ‘equity in learning’. Children from
historically disadvantaged and economically weaker sections of society and first generation
learners exhibit significantly lower learning outcomes.
Children with disabilities and children with special needs constitute a significant
proportion of out-of-school children. This situation highlights the needs to equip schools to
address the challenging needs of children with disabilities who are both socially and
Though the dropout rate is a matter of concern in the case of all categories of students,
drop-out rates among socially and economically disadvantaged groups, especially for girls
from these groups, remain higher than the national average. This brings into focus the need
to undertake measures to improve retention in schools of children from socially and
economically disadvantaged communities.
Most states/UTs have made impressive progress in terms of reduction in gender disparities
in participation, with most of them either having reached or surpassed gender parity,
particularly at the primary and upper primary stages of education. However, large
disparities remain at the senior secondary level. Many girls are not sent to schools; and
many who complete secondary education are not able to pursue their studies at the higher
secondary level and in colleges. Once in school, especially at the secondary stage, there are
several barriers that prevent a significant proportion of girls from continuing their
education. The interventions which are currently being made to bridge the gender and
social category gaps need to be stepped up, and more focused strategies need to be worked
out to facilitate effective inclusion and participation of girls and other special category
The relatively higher gender gaps in youth and adult literacy rates remain a principal
challenge. India continues to be characterized by higher level of gender gap (8.2 percentage
points) in youth literacy rate, with the youth literacy rates for male and female population
(age 15-24 years) in 2011 being 90 per cent and 81.8 per cent respectively. India also
continues to be the country with higher level of gender gap (19.5 percentage points) in
adult literacy, with adult literacy rates for male and female population (age 15 years and
over) in 2011 being 78.8 per cent and 59.3 per cent respectively. It is clear that major
efforts are needed to raise the literacy levels of girls and women.
Even though the drop-out rates at elementary and secondary stages of education have been
declining, large numbers of children continue to leave the school before completing
elementary education. In 2014-15, the retention rate at primary level was 83.7 per cent
and it was as low as 67.4 percent at the elementary level. This indicates that roughly, four
in every 10 children enrolled in grade I leave the school before completing grade VIII.
Dropout rates in secondary education continue to be high, especially for socially and
economically disadvantaged groups of learners. Though the dropout rate is a matter of
concern in the case of all categories of students, drop-out rates among socially and
economically disadvantaged groups, especially for girls from these groups, remain higher
than the national average. This brings into focus the need to undertake measures to
improve retention in schools of children from socially and economically disadvantaged
communities. Ensuring completion of elementary, secondary and higher secondary
education by all enrolled pupils emerges to be high priority task.
Governance and Management
Several studies have reported the challenges in education governance exemplified by
teacher absence, delayed fund flows to schools/colleges/universities and administrative
capabilities. Capacity constraints relating to effective programme planning and
implementation continue to be a key issue. Consequently, the progress of implementation
of planned programmes remains uneven. The governance and management of education
system and institutions, especially at the tertiary education stage, has assumed complexity
with the advent of a multiplicity of providers, programmes and modes of financing. While it
is true that some states have displayed encouraging initiatives and innovative
management, the overall picture in the country is mixed. A renewed look at governance
and management policies both at the system as well as the institutional level has become
Commercialisation is rampant both in school and higher education sub-sectors as reflected
in the charges levied for admissions in private educational institutions. The proliferation of
sub-standard educational institutions has contributed to the diminished credibility of the
Research and Development
Research and development initiatives in universities in India remain weak. There has been
only a limited initiative for upgrading the skills of existing faculty; build synergies between
teaching and research to promote excellence in both; promoting internationalisation by
encouraging and supporting higher education institutions and their faculty to engage more
deeply with institutions and faculty around the world to improve quality of research;
creating and facilitating alliances for research, and linking university departments with
research institutions and industry to accelerate the process of knowledge development.
Insufficient financing of education continues to constrain efforts to expand access to
education and foster quality education. Several studies have reported the challenges in
education governance exemplified by the delayed fund flows to schools/ colleges/
universities. The earlier education policies had endorsed a norm of 6 percent of GDP as the
minimum expenditure on education. However, this target has never been met. Shortfall in
the funding has been a major constraint to the complete implementation of some of
the programmes designed to further expand school, higher and adult education
programmes and to maintain a reasonable level of quality in education. There have
also been pervasive and persistent failures in timely programme implementation leading to
sub-optimal utilization of the resources provided.
The global Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) within the Agenda 2030 seeks to
‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning
opportunities for all’. The EFA agenda initiated in 2000 remains unfinished, particularly
those relating to youth and adult illiterates, out-of-school children, low access to Early
Childhood Care and Education, inadequate opportunities for skill development and
unsatisfactory quality of education and student learning levels. The NEP will, therefore,
pursue both the unfinished EFA agenda and the targets associated with SDG4.
The challenges being faced by the education sector call for innovative approaches and
sustained efforts to foster education development in general, and quality education, in
particular without compromising on access and equity. The main thrust will be to devise
effective strategies to address the divergent challenges for the growth of education in India
and realising the potential of the country’s ‘demographic dividend’.
Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
The National Education Policy (NEP), 2016 envisions a credible and high-performing
education system capable of ensuring inclusive quality education and lifelong learning
opportunities for all and producing students/graduates equipped with the knowledge,
skills, attitudes and values that are required to lead a productive life, participate in the
country’s development process, respond to the requirements of the fast-changing,
ever-globalising, knowledge-based economy and society.
– Ensure equitable, inclusive and quality education and lifelong learning
opportunities for all – children, youth and adults – and to promote the realisation
the nation’s human potential to its fullest, with equity and excellence.
– Ensure that school and higher education as well as adult education programmes
inculcate an awareness among children, youth and adults of India’s rich heritage,
glorious past, great traditions and heterogeneous culture, and promote acquisition
by the learners at all levels of values that promote responsible citizenship, peace,
tolerance, secularism, national integration, social cohesion and mutual respect for
all religions, as well as universal values that help develop global citizenship and
– Foster quality education with a strong focus on reforms relating to curricula,
learning materials, pedagogic processes, learning assessment, teacher quality and
performance, and institutional leadership and management with a view to enabling
all students at all levels of education to attain the specified learning outcomes
(knowledge, skills, attitudes and values) that are required to lead a productive life,
participate in the country’s development process, and respond to the emerging
– Promote acquisition by all learners of relevant skills, including technical and
vocational skills, for work and entrepreneurship as well as skills and competencies
that replace rote learning and allow them to be more creative and innovative, to
think critically, to communicate effectively, to solve problems independently, and to
be able to contribute to the national development process.
Goals and objectives
The overall goal is to foster quality and relevance of education and raise the credibility of
India’s education system, improve employability of the products of school and higher
education system, ensure equitable access to education, from early childhood education to
tertiary education, including technical and vocational education and training (TVET) as
well as lifelong learning opportunities, and ensure that educational opportunities are
available to all segments of the society,
The main objectives of education for the fulfillment of the vision and mission are as follows:
- – Expanding early childhood education services to ensure that all pre-school age
children aged 4-5 years attain the learning and developmental readiness
required for smooth transition to primary education, with particular attention
to children belonging to disadvantaged population groups;
- – Achieving universal elementary and secondary education and ensuring that all
secondary education graduates have access to higher secondary education and
all higher secondary education graduates have equitable access to higher
education and that all enrolled students are supported to successfully complete
their education with all of them achieving expected learning outcomes;
- – Ensuring that all education programmes are made accessible, inclusive and
responsive to the needs of diverse groups of children and young people with
special focus on students from disadvantaged population groups, particularly
children, adolescents and youth with special needs and with various forms of
disabilities, and ensuring that all enrolled students are supported to enable
them achieve the expected learning outcomes;
- – Ensuring that social, regional and gender gaps in education are eliminated and
gender equality and girls’ and women’s empowerment are promoted
throughout the education system;
- – Expanding opportunities for skill development and ensuring acquisition by
young people and adults of the skills and competencies for life and work,
including technical and vocational skills that are required for employability,
work and entrepreneurship and for adapting to an ever-changing world of
- – Ensuring that young people (15-24 years) and adults (15 years and above)
who are outside the formal education system, including those working in the
informal sector of the economy, are provided with opportunities to attain skills
- – Reform higher education system in order to ensure equitable access to tertiary
education, including technical and professional education, narrow group
inequalities in access to higher education, and improve teaching and research,
promote innovation and generate new knowledge across all higher education
institutions and to enable all enrolled to attain the specified learning outcomes
and employable skills;
- – Ensuring integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in
education, especially for improving access to education, enhancing the quality
of teaching-learning process, training of teachers, and strengthening
educational planning and management.
- – Ensuring that the systems of teacher development and management, including
continuing professional development of teachers, are reformed to ensure
adequate supply of qualified and competent teachers who possess the
prescribed competency profile and the prescribed professional standards for
- – Ensuring that at all youth and at least 90% of adults, both men and women,
achieve literacy and numeracy skills prescribed by the adult education
- – Insitutionalising a responsive, participatory and accountable systems of
educational planning, governance and management and ensuring that the
educational planning and management practices structures for the planning
and management of the education sector at the national, sub-national and local
levels are improved and made more responsive to the emerging educational
priorities and demands of the expanding education sector;
- – Professionalising and enhancing the capacity of institutional leadership, and
ensuring that the leadership in the education sector at the national, sub-
national and institutional levels are improved to respnd to the emerging
educational priorities and demands of the expanding education sector;
- – Ensuring increased and well-targeted financing for educational development
The direction of the future education agenda is anchored in a lifelong and sector-wide
perspective. The policy envisages broadening the scope of education to facilitate various
pathways to learning depending on learners’ choice and potential and in relation with skills
required for the world of work while ensuring recognition and certification of learning
outcomes acquired by learners through formal and non-formal learning modalities,
including open and distance learning modes.
In the foregoing sections, we have outlined the vision, challenges and policy objectives that
are to be realized through concrete actions. A large number of such actions are currently
under way, and have been so for several years, and in some cases, for many decades. We
need to acknowledge the mammoth size of our education landscape and the diversity of
internal sub-systems across different states. Further, there is no single solution or remedy
that can address the multiple challenges of access, inclusion and excellence, while
attempting to harbinger change. The thrust of this policy is on quality of education, as the
country has already been witnessing the benefits of on-going efforts for expanding access
and increasing inclusion. Employability is a matter of great concern which also has been
given due attention. Given the global changes and technological advancements, some new
areas are also brought forth to realize the various objectives.
A Framework for Action will be drawn up in which implementation strategies will be
indicated for each identified area at all levels of Government- Central, State/UT, and local.
In particular, the state and local governments would be encouraged to formulate their own
strategies or action plans consistent with the National Education Policy, 2016.
The key areas and actions to be taken in each of these follow in the subsequent sections.
Needless to state, these are by no means exhaustive and there could other possible actions
that can be envisaged later on.
4.1 Pre-school Education
Pre-school education has not received the necessary attention in the past as
Government schools do not provide pre-primary education. The Integrated Child
Development Services (ICDS) program of the Ministry of Women and Child
Development is intended to provide early childhood education. It is universally
accepted that early childhood years are critically important when a child’s mental
and physical development is the highest.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. As a priority, a programme for pre-school education for children in the age
group of 4 to 5 years will be implemented in coordination with the
Ministry of Women and Child Development.
2. Presently, the Anganwadis under the ICDS are not adequately equipped to
provide pre-school education. To strengthen the pre-school education in
Anganwadis, steps will be taken in consultation with states to frame
curricula and develop learning materials, within a year, and provide
training to Anganwadi workers.
3. State Governments will prepare cadres of pre-primary teachers, and create
necessary facilities for their pre and in service training. The transition from
Anganwadi to pre-primary school will be gradual and seamless, and it
should be left to each State to determine the time frame for achieving it.
4. In due course, all primary schools will cover pre-primary education. For
this, efforts will be made to locate all Anganwadis either in the school
premises, or as close to these as possible.
5. Appropriate regulatory and monitoring rules and mechanisms will be
designed for private pre-schools.
4.2 Protection of Rights of the Child & Adolescent Education
Protection of child rights goes beyond personal safety of children and includes
prevention of corporal punishment; absence of emotional and physical
harassment, precautions against injury during school activities’ safe
infrastructure, use of child friendly language and actions, non-discriminations,
physical abuse, substance abuse, molestations, etc. It calls for creating the right
kind of environment that is both sensitive and receptive to child rights. A zero
tolerance approach for any breach of child rights will be adopted to ensure
physical and emotional safety of children.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. A framework and guidelines for ensuring school safety and security of
children will be developed and will be made a part of the eligibility
conditions for a school education institution for recognition and
2. Every Principal and teacher will be made aware of the provisions of the
relevant Acts, Rules, Regulations, etc. relating to child rights and what
constitutes their violation of by including a module in the teachers
education/ training programmes and refresher courses.
3. The Adolescent Education Programme and National Population Education
Programme will be integrated into the curriculum of schools in a phased
4. Adolescent Education will be included in pre- and in-service training
programmes of secondary school teachers.
5. Self-learning online programmes on child rights will be developed for the
benefit of students, teachers and parents.
6. Schools will engage trained counsellors to confidentially advise parents
and teachers on adolescence problems faced by growing boys and girls.
4.3 Learning outcomes in School Education
In elementary education, poor learning outcomes continues to be a matter of
serious concern. Studies have shown that children are not learning the basic skills
of reading, writing and arithmetic during their schooling. The States have taken
initiatives, such as, defining and measuring learning outcomes and enhancing
early grade reading, writing, comprehension and maths programs. However,
despite all these efforts, poor learning outcomes remain a challenge. It is therefore
priority of the central and state governments to improve learning outcomes of
school children which would result in enhancing the quality of elementary
The following policy initiatives will be taken: :
1. In addition to infrastructure norms specified in the RTE Act, norms for
learning outcomes will be developed and applied uniformly to both
private and government schools.
2. Within the parameters prescribed by the RTE Act, States will have the
flexibility to design and plan for the infrastructure keeping in view the
local conditions. Local norms, appropriate for local conditions, will be
evolved, if necessary through amendment in RTE Act, for ‘alternate
schools’ which offer educational interventions for specific categories of
very deprived and migrating children, and those living in difficult
3. The present provisions of no-detention policy will be amended, as it has
seriously affected the academic performance of students. The no
detention policy will be limited up to class V and the system of detention
will be restored at the upper primary stage. Academically weak students
will be identified, based on CCE conducted by schools, for providing
4. Effective steps will be taken to improve teaching standards in schools,
create mechanisms for supporting children through special academic
support and providing access to multiple sources of knowledge, including
4.4 School Education
With Universal Elementary Education (UEE) becoming a reality, expansion of
secondary education is inevitable. This requires development of a secondary
school system with defined standards irrespective of the location and
management of the institution to accommodate all those eligible students. The
challenge is in improving the retention and transition rates at secondary levels.
The present examination system also is riddled with several maladies and
malpractices. While efforts have been made in some states to conduct
examinations in a fair and transparent manner, the overall situation requires
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. Each State will undertake a detailed exercise of school mapping to identify
schools with low enrolment and inadequate infrastructure. Wherever
possible, efforts will be made to convert existing non-viable schools into
composite schools for optimum utilization of human, physical and
infrastructural resources, better academic performance and cost effective
management. When schools are merged they could be located in a single
campus. In consultation with the states, common guidelines for merger and
consolidation would be evolved, without diluting the provisions of the RTE
Act. The consolidation will enable the country to achieve one class – one
teacher norm in a foreseeable future.
2. The issue of extension of Clause 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act to government-aided
minority institutions (religious and linguistic) will be examined in view of
larger national commitments towards the economically weaker sections.
3. The State will endeavour to extend RTE up to an appropriate age so as to
cover secondary level education.
4. Minimum standards for provision of facilities and student outcomes across
all levels in school education will be laid down.
5. Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) will
be expanded and Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) will be
expanded and upgraded, wherever possible, up to secondary level with
priority to relatively educationally backward areas. Reasons for the
success of JNVs will be studied and replicated by the States.
6. Open schooling facilities will be expanded to enable dropouts and working
children to pursue education without attending full time formal schools.
7. Students are many times faced with dilemma in making the right academic
choices based on their aptitude and interests which results in failure to
realise their true potential resulting in poor achievement, disappointment
and stress. Academic aptitude tests will be conducted at various stages to
assist students in identifying their true potential and areas of interest.
Helplines will be set up and professional counsellors will be engaged in
schools to overcome this limitation and also identify children with special
learning needs, assist slow learners and underachievers, help in right
choice of courses including vocational skill-based programs, and guide
secondary and higher secondary students about relevant employment
4.5 Curriculum Renewal and Examination Reforms
To quote Swami Vivekanand, “Education is not the amount of information that we
put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life. We must have life-
building, man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas. If you have
assimilated five ideas and made them your life and character, you have more
education than any man who has got by heart a whole library….. …. If education is
identical with information, the libraries are the greatest sages of the world and
encyclopedia are the greatest Rishis.” The statement of Swami Vivekanand assumes
much greater significance with the advent of internet and ever expanding digital
connectivity when we do not even need to visit libraries and information are
available at the click of a button. There is therefore a need to shift from the
information-based education system to a value-based education system imparting
life skills which can contribute to man-making and nation-building.
There is a need to renew curricula at all levels of education with special emphasis
on the emerging learning areas. Some of the curricular thrusts should include
enabling learners to respond to the impact of globalization and the demands of
the emerging knowledge-based economy and society; meet the learning needs of
diverse groups of learners; linking education with life-skills and the world of
work; generating concern relating to sustainable development; responding to
instructional arrangements that are moving towards greater flexibility and
individualization etc. The curricula should provide opportunities for students to
achieve excellence in learning outcomes that are comparable to student learning
outcomes in high-performing international education systems. The curricula also
need to define the standards of educational performance and learning outcomes
through which objectives of education are realized and the attainment of which
can be assessed/monitored with a view to revision and upgrading of the curricula.
Improving the assessment of student learning assumes greater importance in the
context efforts to improve learning outcomes. Systems are in place for continuous
formative and summative assessment, term- end and year-end examinations, and
class X and class XII examinations. However, the overall assessment practices at
the school level remain unsatisfactory. In most cases the learning assessment is
limited to testing the students’ ability to reproduce content knowledge. The whole
assessment system needs to be revamped to ensure comprehensive assessment of
the students, including learning outcomes relating to both scholastic and co-
scholastic domains. There is also a need to institutionalize a system which tracks
student progress in both the scholastic and co-scholastic domains across years.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. Curricular reforms will be carried out to meet the emerging aspirations
and align to national goals of social cohesion, religious amity and national
integration. Curriculum should be outcome-based and aim for overall
development of students through imparting life-skills in an increasingly
technology driven environment. All students will be taught both
fundamental duties and rights so that they can become responsible citizens
both within the country and in the world.
2. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will
undergo a re-orientation to address issues of deteriorating quality of
school education and periodic renewal of curricula and pedagogy to move
from rote learning to facilitate understanding and encourage a spirit of
3. For science, mathematics and english subjects, a common national
curriculum will be designed. For other subjects, such as social sciences, a
part of the curricula will be common across the country and the rest will be
at the discretion of the states.
4. From Class V onwards, digital literacy will be introduced in the curriculum
in a graded manner. However, ICT as a subject can start from class VI. ICT
curricula at all levels will be revised to make these application oriented.
5. It is well recognised that concepts of science are best understood by
students through demonstration and lab experiments. Hence for teaching
of science subjects, practical components will be introduced gradually from
6. Issues of gender, social, cultural and regional disparities, with an emphasis
on unity in diversity, will be properly addressed in the curriculum and its
transaction. Curriculum will cover the issues of social justice and legal
measures in order to avoid social discrimination. It will be ensured by the
curriculum and text book development agencies that text books promote
harmony and do not contain any discriminating issues/ events/ examples
in the context of gender, disability, caste, religion, etc. Citizenship
education, peace education, character building, legal and constitutional
literacy, financial literacy, environmental sustainability and other common
core which will be promoted through all the subject areas.
7. Examinations will be designed to test wider awareness, understanding and
comprehension and higher order problem solving skills, and not merely
ability to reproduce text book material. Continuous assessment, standards
in paper-setting, transparency in evaluation criteria, etc. are some steps
that can be taken in this direction. In order to introduce flexibility and
reduce year-end examination stress, the government will make an attempt
to introduce on-demand board examination.
8. High failure rate in class-X examination is attributed to a large extent to
poor performance in three subjects: Mathematics, Science and English. In
order to reduce the failure rates, class X examination in Mathematics,
Science and English will be at two levels: Part-A at a higher level and Part-B
at a lower level. Students who intend to join courses/ programmes for
which science, mathematics or English is not a prerequisite or wish to shift
to vocational stream after class-X will be able to opt for Part-B level
9. At present Central and State Boards of Education conduct examination for
class X and XII. It will be mandatory for the students to take class X board
examination conducted by the Board to which their school is affiliated.
class X Board examination will cover the entire syllabus of class X.
10. There are wide variations in the quality and value of certificates provided
by different boards, representing different levels of learning. Moreover,
there are allegations of many examination boards granting grace marks to
artificially inflate the pass percentage. Not only that this practice needs to
be discontinued, but a system should be developed to provide a better
comparative idea of students’ achievement levels across the boards and
preferably across the years. Scaling is one alternative. Some other
alternatives are conducting a central examination at the end of class-X and
XII, or, expressing the scores in terms of percentile in each Board. All
possible options will be studied by a team of academic experts to suggest a
solution to indicate achievement levels of students of students.
11. Procedural reforms will be undertaken, such as, doing away with migration
certificate, school leaving certificate, etc. in order to encourage mobility of
students from one institution to another.
4.6 Inclusive Education and Student Support
It is an established fact that an education system built on the premises of quality
and equity is central to sustainable success in the emerging knowledge economy.
The present education system especially in rural areas is not creating a
heterogeneous environment for inclusive education to cater to the educational
needs of children with special needs and socially backward communities. Though
in recent decades, access to education has improved even in rural areas, students
coming from socially or economically weaker segments suffer significant
handicaps relating to inequality in learning opportunities, often stemming from
sociological and circumstantial factors.
Education level of tribal children is a matter of grave concern. Serious issues, such
as, low literacy rates, poor enrolment rates, high dropouts, high infant mortality of
tribal children have to be addressed. In spite of all the efforts made by Central and
State Governments, including provision of scholarships etc., the state of tribal
education is far from satisfactory. Non-availability of teachers to work in tribal
areas has been mainly responsible for low educational development of the tribal
children. Language and communication is also a problem for non-tribal teachers
working in tribal areas.
Mechanisms to ensure financing for study programmes, either through
scholarships or loans, could help meritorious students continue their studies.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. Issues of gender, social, cultural and regional disparities, with an emphasis
on diversity, will be properly addressed in the curriculum and its
transaction. Curriculum will cover the issues of social justice and harmony
and legal measures in order to avoid social discrimination.
2. Pre-vocational oriented activities will be infused in the curriculum from
early stages to develop positive attitude towards dignity of labour and
develop skills in children
3. With the objective of encouraging merit and promoting equity, a National
Fellowship Fund, primarily designed to support the tuition fees, learning
materials and living expenses for about 10 lakh students will be created.
The scholarships from this fund will be made available to students
belonging to the economically weaker sections. A separate national talent
scholarship scheme, covering all subject areas, for meritorious students of
all categories selected through a national level examination after class 10
will be introduced.
4. Ways of building synergies and linkages, providing mentoring and advice
between Ashram shalas and nearby secondary schools/ higher secondary
schools/ Kendriya Vidyalayas/ Navodaya Vidyalayas will be worked out.
5. Skilling of students in tribal areas needs greater focus and steps will be
taken to offer more skill based courses in schools after regular working
hours in coordination with National Skill Development Corporation.
6. Experience has shown that tribal children have difficulty in understanding
and learning in the regional language which is usually the medium of
instruction. To overcome this impediment, steps will be taken to ensure
that, wherever required, multi-lingual education will be introduced.
7. Special interventions will be undertaken to meet the educational needs of
differently abled children and children with learning disabilities who are
facing multiple problems of social neglect, absence of support systems in
the home, inadequate and lack of appropriate facilities and assistive
devices, particularly in schools located in smaller towns and villages.
8. The ongoing centrally sponsored schemes for children with special needs
will continue and their coverage and funding will be augmented. A suitable
mechanism will be developed at the State and district levels for oversight
of the implementation of various schemes as well as identifying and
providing for children with special needs.
9. At the local level, a part-time sub-committee of experts comprising of child
and clinical psychologists will be constituted so that any school or District
Education Officer could refer cases where a third-party assessment or
advice is needed. This sub-committee can also advise on special
training/orientation of teachers for sensitive and appropriate handling of
children with special needs.
10. The Central Government will take the lead in devising a long term plan for
addressing the problem of learning disabilities, provide investment in
research and training and make available necessary resources.
11. The critical stages in the learning periods of the disadvantaged children
from socially and economically disadvantaged sections will be supported
with extra remedial coaching or advisory facility.
12. Education of migrant children through provision of residential school
facilities at the source or destination of migration or any other suitable
means, on the basis of equal opportunity and non-discrimination will be
13. A zero tolerance approach on gender discrimination and violence will be
adopted. The State will endeavour to enhance induction, retention and
substantive presence of women in the higher education sector through
various kinds of affirmative action. For this, greater efforts will be made to
ensure the placement and recruitment of women in the higher echelons of
14. There will be dedicated funds for R&D to strengthen disability studies in
higher education. Social and research audit of disability access for
infrastructure, academic access and performance will be undertaken.
15. To address regional imbalances, differentiated policies for different
terrains, such as, hill areas, tribal areas, desert areas, coastal areas, is
possible. The criteria for determining educational backwardness at block
and district levels will be revisited and new norms will be evolved. To
identify educational and skill gaps and to facilitate special interventions for
educationally backward regions as also for socially, economically and
educationally backward sections, district-wise mapping will be
4.7 Literacy and Lifelong Learning
An emphasis on adult literacy was put for the first time on 2nd October 1978 when
the National Adult Education Programme (NAEP) was launched. In the last 40
years, a number of programmes have been started, such as, Rural Functional
Literacy Programme (RFLP), National Literacy Mission (NLM), Saakshar Bharat
Abhiyan, etc. Despite all these efforts, India still has over 280 million adult
illiterates which is about one-third of the total number of adult illiterates in the
world. This alarmingly high number calls for a special focus for addressing the
issue of adult illiteracy.
Functional literacy is the level of reading, writing and numeracy skills sufficient to
function in a particular community in which an individual lives. Achieving
functional literacy is an integral and indispensable element of educational
development. Universal youth and adult literacy is a fundamental goal of adult
and continuing education programmes that have been envisaged from time to
In the contemporary world, lifelong education is regarded as the determinant of a
literate society. The pathways progresses from a literate environment created
through the basic literacy programmes to a learning society which provides
multiple avenues for meeting the learning needs of all sections of society.
Lifelong Education is today essential for survival and for enhancing people’s
quality of life, as well as for national, human, social and economic development. If
India has to compete globally and emerge as a developed nation, it has to improve
the quality of its human resources through well-defined lifelong education policies
Massive numbers of non-literates, the emergence of knowledge economy,
challenges of globalization, tremendous expansion of information communication
technology and increasing lifespan of individuals call for a major shift in the adult
education policy and programmes. Multiple approaches to literacy are needed in
diverse and complex Indian society. Approach to literacy will have to be flexible,
decentralized and context based with focus on livelihood, entertainment,
development interventions, etc.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. Existing initiatives will be strengthened and curricula revamped with
multi-pronged strategies involving Self Help Groups, NGOs, Government,
schools/ colleges/ educational institutions, youth and women’s
organisations for achieving universal youth and adult literacy.
2. The mandate of existing structures, including the National Literacy Mission
Authority at the apex level, the State Literacy Mission Authorities at the
State level and the Lok Shiksha Samitis at the District, Block and the Gram
Panchayat, as well as the resource support bodies, will require remodelling
and strengthening for achieving universal literacy goals. States will
prepare a district-wise action plan for achieving universal literacy.
3. The Government will set up an apex body of experts to look into
remodelling and strengthening of AE programmes and develop scientific
criteria for assessing the learning outcomes of adults in literacy, skill
development, prior learning and equivalency for certification which may
also facilitate entry into the formal education system. NLMA will partner
with accredited agencies for the purposes of accreditation of prior learning
and for professional up-gradation of adult education personnel.
4. Adult literacy programme will incorporate skill development and digital,
financial and legal literacy.
4.8 Skills in Education and Employability
While the youth population is fast shrinking with higher dependency ratios in the
developed world, India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than
54 percent of its total population below 25 years of age. It is estimated that there
will be 104.62 million fresh entrants to the workforce by 2022 who will need to be
skilled. However, institutional arrangements to support technical and vocational
education programmes remain quite inadequate.
Formally linking the development of skills in vocational fields, and bringing an
academic equivalence to vocational accomplishments with avenues for horizontal
and vertical mobility of students has been attempted only recently. To enhance
employability, a blend of education and skills is essential for individual growth
and economic development. Fostering dignity and social acceptability to high
quality vocational training needs increased attention.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. Skill development programmes in school and higher education system will
be reoriented not only for gainful employment of our students but also
help them develop entrepreneurial skills.
2. As envisaged in the National Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
Policy 2015 skill development programmes will be integrated in 25% of
the schools and higher education institutions.
3. A detailed plan for the creation of skill schools for improving employment
opportunities for secondary school students in special focus districts will
4. The present skill based programmes at secondary, higher and technical
education will be integrated through NSQF with the mainstream education
to facilitate greater social acceptability as well as vertical and horizontal
mobility. Institutional mechanism will be created for certification of skills
through multiple entry and exit options, credit bank system, institutional
collaboration for credit transfer, National Occupational Standards based
delivery of skills for national recognition and outcome based assessment.
5. No mechanism for assessment and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has
been developed so far. To overcome this gap, the Government will, within
a year, endeavour to develop a mechanism to assess and certify such skills
and competencies and facilitate the entry of those who have no formal
education and training but have acquired the skills without any
certification for possession of those skills.
6. Joint certificates by the Sector Skill Council and the School/College
authorities to help students take up wage-employment or start their own
4.9 Use of ICT in Education
A significant development since the previous Education Policy of 1986/92 is the
emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) which has
brought in new dimensions in the fields education. New possibilities have opened
up for use of information technology in different ways, not only to manage the
sector, but also directly assist in enhancing the quality of teaching and learning,
expansion of education opportunities, and improving educational planning and
management. ICTs can also be harnessed for remedial education, training of
teachers, adult literacy programmes, skill education, learning tool in higher
education and also as a governance and management tool. IT-based applications
for monitoring the performance of students and schools as well as for school
management are currently being used in several states. There are a number of
similar ongoing efforts and new initiatives and experimentation in this field. What
is required is a well-coordinated strategy, that can propel wide scale the use of
ICT to improve education in India.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. A concerted effort will be made to make ICT an integral part of education
across all levels and domains of learning.
2. Courses on the use of ICT as a tool for enhancing the teaching-learning
process will be an integral part of the teacher education curricula.
3. Online maintenance of all records of a child from the time of admission till
the time of leaving the school will be made mandatory.
4. IT-based applications will be used for monitoring teacher and student
attendance, performance evaluation of teachers and school administrators,
performance of students and also for administrative functions like
maintenance of records and accounts.
5. A programme for the exclusive use of IT applications for School
Management will be drawn up by the central and the state governments on
priority. IT reporting systems will be a powerful tool to better school
management and performance.
6. ICT cannot be seen in isolation but has to be seen along-with other
infrastructure issues, like availability of proper rooms, reliable electricity,
network. Connectivity, security of school premises, maintenance of
infrastructure, etc. Providing for these components will be taken care of in
the programmes for improvement of educational opportunities and
facilities. Since reliable electricity is likely to be an issue, the option of use
of solar energy in educational institutions will be made an integral part of
the programmes for expanding the use of ICT.
7. MOOC is another application of ICT which may help in enhancing the ICT
enabled education at secondary and higher education levels, esp. for
enhancing access to quality education at an affordable cost.
8. Adopting the already developed model may work for short term.
Applications/ models to cater to the local needs will be developed in
addition to usage of already developed Models. Development of different
kinds of software/ mobile apps using the available open software by
teachers and students to suit the local needs will be encouraged and
4.10 Teacher Development and Management
Competence of teachers and their motivation is crucial for improving the quality.
Several initiatives have been taken for addressing shortage of teachers at various
levels of school education. Some of the major challenges in this area are: shortage
of secondary school teachers in mathematics, science and languages, improving
the quality of programmes for initial preparation of and continuous professional
development of in-service teachers, enhancing the status of teaching as a
profession, improving teachers’ motivation and their accountability for ensuring
learning outcomes, and improving the quality of teacher education institutions
and also teacher educators.
Despite several efforts by the central and state governments, issues of large
number of vacancies in both elementary and secondary levels, problems of
untrained teachers, lack of professionalism in teacher training institutions,
mismatch in training and actual classroom practices, teacher absenteeism and
teacher accountability and involvement of teachers in non- teaching activities all
need to be addressed. A large number of government schools do not have full-time
head teachers/principals. Lack of effective leadership has also contributed to
indiscipline among teachers leading to declining academic standards. Keeping in
mind the larger goal of improving the quality of education, a slew of policy
measures will have to be taken.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. A transparent and merit based norms and guidelines for recruitment of
teachers will be formulated in consultation with the state governments.
Independent Teacher Recruitment Commissions will be set up by the state
governments to facilitate transparent, merit based selection and recruitment
of teachers, principals and other academic cadres.
2. All vacancies in teacher education institutions and all positions of head
teachers and principals will be filled up. Leadership training for head teachers
and principals will be compulsory.
3. Transparent norms will be developed for fair and equitable deployment of
teachers, for public display of their vacancies and transfers. For remote and
difficult areas, efforts will be made to recruit the teachers locally.
4. Manpower planning will be done by the state governments to assess subject-
wise and state-wise requirement of teachers and also to cover training of
untrained teachers within a specified time frame. Contractual teachers will be
phased out gradually by absorbing the eligible teachers against sanctioned
5. Issues relating to teacher absenteeism, teacher vacancies and lack of teacher
accountability will be resolved with strong political consensus and will.
Disciplinary powers will be vested with the School Management Committees
(SMCs) in case of primary schools and head teachers/ principals in upper
primary and secondary schools to deal with absenteeism and indiscipline,
assisted by technology for recording attendance with mobile phones and
6. Special emphasis will be laid on improving the effectiveness of programmes
for the initial preparation and continuing professional development of
teachers. The diploma and graduate teacher education programmes and the
teacher training institutions will be reviewed for changes in duration, pattern,
structure, curricula and delivery to overcome their existing limitations.
7. At the National level, a Teacher Education University will be set up covering
various aspects of teacher education and faculty development. The Regional
Institutes of Education under NCERT will be developed and converted to
Teacher Education Universities at the regional levels.
8. It will be mandatory for all teacher education institutions, such as, DIETs,
B.Ed. Colleges, etc. to be accredited. Benchmarking standards will be laid
down for block resource centres.
9. Teacher development programmes will have components to help teachers
appreciate the importance of co-scholastic activities especially life skills,
ethical education, physical education and arts and crafts and introduce these
effectively into the teaching learning process in schools.
10. In addition to the national level teacher awards, state and district level
awards for teachers will be instituted based on a set of objective criteria.
SMCs will play an important role in recommending the names of teachers for
11. Programmes for enhancing the capacity, motivation and accountability of
teachers to deliver quality education and improvements in learning outcomes
of students will be accorded priority.
12. It will be made mandatory for all in-service teachers to participate in
training/ professional development programmes once in every three years.
Central and state governments will make adequate arrangements to train all
in-service teachers within a period of three years by leveraging technology.
13. Periodic assessment of teachers in government and private schools will be
made mandatory and linked to their future promotions and release of
increments, as applicable. They will have to appear and clear an assessment
test every 5 (five) year which assesses their pedagogic skills and subject
14. A separate cadre for teacher educators will be established in every state. The
large number of vacancies in the SCERTs, DIETs and other teacher education
institutions will be filled up to strengthen these institutions and build their
4.11 Language and Culture in Education
A multi-lingual society recognises the importance of languages in education. The
Three Language Formula (TLF) was formulated by the Government of India in
consultation with the State governments and enunciated in the National
Education Policy Resolution 1968. It has continued through in the policy of
1986/1992 though there are deviations in the implementation of TLF in many
states. Language being a highly emotive issue, no prescription will satisfy all. With
the passage of time, the states have responded to local aspirations and
preferences so that students develop language skills for intra-state, intra-regional
as well as global mobility.
Students learn most effectively when taught through their mother tongue. On the
other hand, there is a growing demand for learning English language and schools
with English as medium of instructions.
The aim of education is to inculcate awareness among learners of India’s rich
heritage, glorious past, great traditions and heterogeneous culture. It also
promotes acquisition by the learners at all levels of values that promote
responsible citizenship, peace, tolerance, secularism, national integration, social
cohesion and mutual respect for all religions, as well as universal values that help
develop global citizenship and sustainable development.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. All states and UTs, if they so desire, may provide education in schools, upto
Class V, in mother tongue, local or regional language as the medium of
2. Knowledge of english plays an important role in the national and
international mobility of students and provides an access to global
knowledge. Hence, it is important to make children proficient in reading
and writing English. Therefore, if the medium of instruction upto primary
level is the mother tongue or local or regional language, the second
language will be English and the choice of the third language (at the upper
primary and secondary levels) will be with the individual states and local
authorities, in keeping with the Constitutional provisions.
3. Higher Education Institutions, especially technical and professional
institutions, will provide opportunities to all students to learn about India’s
rich heritage, linguistic and cultural diversity and knowledge systems.
4. Indian culture, local and traditional knowledge will be given adequate
space in the school education. Ethics education will be integrated at all
levels for inculcating values of equality and equity, social justice, fraternity,
democracy, responsible freedom and liberty, spirit of fraternity and
5. Keeping in view special importance of Sanskrit to the growth and
development of Indian languages and its unique contribution to the
cultural unity of the country, facilities for teaching Sanskrit at the school
and university stages will be offered on a more liberal scale.
6. Educational institutions will instill among students civic sense, discipline,
punctuality, cleanliness, good conduct, empathy and compassion for the
elderly, downtrodden and weaker sections, respect for women and a
4.12 Self -Development through Comprehensive Education
Education is concerned with all-round development of the child (physical, socio-
emotional along with cognitive) and, therefore, all aspects need to be assessed
rather than only academic achievement. There is a system-wide focus on holistic
development of children by improving learning outcomes and other co-scholastic
areas. It is a well-known fact that only a healthy child can learn effectively and
good health status leads to better learning It is a matter of concern that a large
number of children suffer from malnutrition and anaemia which contributes to
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. Physical education, yoga, games and sports, NCC, NSS, art education, Bal
Sansad, covering local art, craft, literature and skills, and other co-
scholastic activities will be made an integral part of the curriculum and
daily routine in schools for the holistic development of children. Facilities
for the above will be a pre-requisite to the recognition of schools.
2. Funds will be earmarked by the government/ school management for all
co-scholastic activities in schools.
3. The implementation of the school health component, generally
administered by the Health Department will be supported by the
education departments and schools. The schools will draw up a roster for
check-ups and ensure that the schedule is followed. As a part of the Digital
India initiative, apps will be developed to track and monitor the health
record and status of each child.
4. The school nutrition programme implemented through the on-going Mid-
Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) has helped supplementing nutrition and
promoted social equity. The MDM programme will be extended to cover
students of secondary schools. Teachers will not be burdened with the
task of supervising cooking and serving mid-day meals. The practices of
engaging the services of reputed community organisations to provide the
mid-day meals cooked in centralised kitchens and distributed in the
schools will be encouraged.
4.13 School Assessment and Governance
Community participation and parental involvement in schools can play a critical
role in school improvement across inputs, processes and even outcomes. There
have been evidences that village schools will function effectively only when the
local community is active and participates in the functioning of the schools. There
is felt need for better governance structures in schools, striking a balance between
mandating and persuading, training of district and block-level education officers
as well as head teachers for better management practices, on using data to better
monitor and support school performance, and to mobilise community resources
and efforts to improve school performance. Equally, there seems to be a need for a
School Quality Assessment and Accreditation System covering all aspects of
school functioning, including scholastic and co-scholastic domains, physical
infrastructure, teacher management, school leadership, learning outcomes and
satisfaction of pupils and their parents/ guardians. A school governance model
with an appropriate framework of autonomy with accountability is necessary to
enable the school system to respond to changing circumstances, and to initiate
remedial action wherever required.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. The framework of school standards with various parameters and
indicators to measure school quality, professional competence of teachers,
school leadership and the school management, as well as, self-appraisal
and performance assessment will be used throughout the country.
Thereafter, schools will be evaluated, graded and ranked based on this
2. A mechanism will be put in place for accreditation of school boards.
3. The central and state governments will address gaps in policy framework
regarding the implementation of School Management Committee (SMC)
within the framework of RTE Act and provide broad implementation and
4. As a part of the oversight of the SMCs, the state governments will provide
clear guidelines on the election process, frequency, tenure, roles and
responsibilities and their functioning. States will endeavour to increase
allocations for SMC training and ensure that schools receive their grants in
time, to effectively implement School Development Plans (SDPs). SDPs will
be integrated into the budgeting and planning process at the district level.
5. Evidences show that some schools perform better than others because of
the leadership of the principal or headmaster. A separate cadre of
principals and headmasters will be created, selected on merit and aptitude,
from amongst the teachers with at least 5 years of teaching experience and
existing vacancies of headmasters and principals will be filled in a time
6. Improved school governance requires expanding the definition of school
leadership to a more holistic framework which includes defining the roles
and responsibilities of a school leader, articulating a school leader
competency framework, introducing a robust and transparent process of
selection of principals/head teachers and induction programme for school
leaders, and providing opportunities for continuing professional
development with well-defined pathways for career growth.
7. Principals/head teachers will be held accountable for the academic
performance of the schools and its improvement. The education
department will fix the minimum tenure of principals/ head teachers.
4.14 Governance Reforms in Higher Education
In recent years, higher education in India has experienced an unprecedented
expansion accompanied by diversification of the sector. The unplanned expansion
of the sector poses challenges for enhancing and maintaining quality. The issues of
governance & regulation in higher education are intertwined. Hence, the existing
statutory position needs to be contextualised for any perspective on governance
and regulatory issues in the sub-sector.
The following set of policy initiatives will be taken for ensuring effective
governance of higher education:
1. An Education Commission comprising of academic experts will be set up,
every five years to assist the Ministry of HRD in identifying new knowledge
areas/ disciplines/ domains as well as pedagogic, curricular and
assessment reforms at the global level, which will help to keep up with the
change in global scenario and national aspirations.
2. Governing bodies of higher education institutions will be made multi-
stakeholder, having representations from industry and alumni as well, with
clear cut transparent guidelines for the composition and selection of such
3. Efforts will be made to move towards a university system integrating UG,
PG & doctoral studies, with faculty concurrently teaching both at UG and
PG levels which will help improve synergies between teaching and
research. Universities will be multi-disciplinary in nature and not single
4. The State will endeavour to implement the recommendations of earlier
policies of 1968 and 1986/92 for the creation of an Indian Education
Service (IES), which is reiterated herein too. The IES will be an all India
service with HRD as the cadre controlling authority. Till the IES comes into
existence, an interim step of a one-time special recruitment by UPSC from
among the existing academic and administrative positions in the education
sector in various states will be made in concurrence with the states.
5. Separate education tribunals will be established at the centre and in the
states to deal with litigation and address public grievances against
government as well as private schools/ institutions. These bodies will be
headed by a retired High Court Judge. The tribunals will have the power to
follow summary procedures for expeditious disposal of cases.
6. The Government recognises and will encourage the positive role played by
students’ unions in furthering the interests of democracy and
strengthening the democratic systems, governance and processes as well
as debates, discussions and pluralism of thoughts. However, it has been
observed that most of the disruptive activities and disharmony in a
campus are led by outsiders and students who remain enrolled for many
more years than what is mandated in the course of study they have
enrolled in. A study will be conducted to prevent outsiders and those who
have ceased to be students from playing an active role in students’ politics
and disrupting the academic activities as well as to prevent them from
staying in hostels and misuse facilities of the institute.
7. All HEIs will put in place an effective grievance redressal mechanism and
will follow the principles of natural justice– mens rea and audi alterem
partem- before taking any punitive action against any student, faculty or
8. The existing affiliating system will continue but with a maximum limit of
100 on the number of affiliating colleges. Universities having more than
100 affiliated colleges under its ambit will be accordingly restructured.
9. Norm-based funding with incentives for activities that promote excellence
in public-funded higher education institutions will be introduced. All
public-funded institutions will prepare perspective plans with specific
milestones and timelines so as to ensure autonomy with financial and
4.15 Regulation In Higher Education
The major national institutions in the system were set up at different times, with
individual mandates as envisioned at the time of their formation. With the passage
of time and new developments in the higher education sector, there is a need to
review the regulatory framework and make it more relevant to current and
future needs of the higher education system. Several challenges relating to the
regulatory regime in higher education need to be tackled carefully. It is necessary
to bring about a healthy balance between autonomy and accountability. State
Governments and Universities can also play a critical role in regulating higher
education institutions within their jurisdiction.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. An independent mechanism for administering the National Higher
Education Fellowship Programme will be put in place.
2. A Central Educational Statistics Agency (CESA) will be established as the
central data collection, compilation and consolidation agency with high
quality statistical expertise and management information system which
will be used for predictive analysis, manpower planning and future course
corrections. CESA will also develop solutions of geo-tagging of HEIs on
various parameters such as, infrastructure available, new constructions
3. State Councils of Higher Education will be mandated to monitor
periodically the academic standards of universities and colleges in
consultation with approved accrediting agencies.
4. Every higher education institution will have a dedicated website for more
transparency disclosing standard information of admissions, fees, faculty,
programmes, examination results, placements, governance, finance,
business tie-ups, management and a report on academic and co-scholastic
activities, as well as other relevant information relating to the institution.
4.16 Quality Assurance In Higher Education
Several problems including inadequate infrastructure and facilities, large
vacancies of faculty positions, poor quality of faculty, outdated teaching methods,
declining research standards, etc. are faced by the universities and colleges. In
addition, there is widespread geographical, gender and social imbalances within
the sector. These problems are also a reflection of the poor quality of higher
education. As a part of quality assurance, it is now mandatory for institutions to
get accredited by NAAC or NBA.
It is a matter of concern that very few higher education institutions find a place in
the global ranking of universities. The global ranking of universities is based on an
assessment of the institutional performance in the areas of research and teaching,
reputation of faculty members, reputation among employers, resource
availability, share of international students and activities, etc. Recently, MHRD
has launched the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) for ranking of our
higher education institutions covering engineering, management, pharmacy,
architecture, universities and colleges.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. An expert committee will be constituted to study the systems of
accreditation in place internationally. It will draw from the experiences of
some of the best practices followed by countries having well performing
systems and will suggest restructuring of NAAC and NAB as well as
redefining methodologies, parameters and criteria. .
2. Evaluation/ Accreditation details of each institution will be available to the
general public through a dedicated website, to enable students and other
stakeholders to make informed choices.
4.17 Open and Distance Learning & MOOCs
Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is recognised and accepted as an important
mode for achieving enhanced access, developing skills, capacity building, training,
employability and life-long learning. It has contributed significantly to the
development of education in India, with over 4 million students enrolled under
ODL. There are several variants of providing distance education courses which are
being offered by both public and private institutions. These provide avenues to
those students who are not able to leave their jobs or are not able to attend
regular classes due to any other reason. At present, open and distance learning in
the country is provided mainly by Indira Gandhi National Open University
(IGNOU) and State Open Universities in the higher education space, and National
Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) is the main provider in the field of school
education. However, there are issues of quality in distance education, which call
for reforming the ODL system.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free access to cutting edge
courses at relatively much lower cost. Various higher education
institutes/universities are putting their courses online by setting up open learning
platforms. The demand for MOOCs is likely to rise in future with growing
aspirations and need for continuous upgrading of knowledge. MHRD has planned
to launch Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), a
web portal where Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on various subjects will
be available. There is a felt need to create a body to promote, coordinate, regulate
and maintain standards of MOOCs and to develop a mechanism for recognition,
transfer and accumulation of credits.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. An autonomous body, responsible for the promotion, coordination,
regulation and maintenance of standards in the ODL/MOOCs system, will be
set up. It will prepare norms, standards and guidelines for systemic
development and regulation of ODL/ MOOCs. It will also develop a
mechanism for recognition, transfer and accumulation of credits earned
through MOOCs and award and recognition of degrees. .
2. All institutions offering course and programmes in ODL/ MOOCs mode will
develop and standardize programmes based on the national and local needs
as per the norms and standards prescribed by the autonomous body
referred to in para-1 so as to facilitate recognition and accumulation of
credits towards the award of degree.
3. A quality assurance mechanism for accreditation of all universities/
institutions offering ODL / MOOCs will be put in place to ensure quality,
promote, innovation and reshape and modernise the ODL / MOOCs courses
4. Learner support services will be institutionalised by all ODL institutions and
will include hosting courseware, repositories, Open Edcuational Resources
(OERs), MOOCs, 24×7 help desk services, tutoring and counselling services,
conduct of webinars, discussion forum, webcasting, library facility, virtual
labs, e-learning modules, delivering of online programmes, providing
assignment and timely feedback of performance, online examinations,
declaration of results, redressal of grievances, etc.
5. The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), in collaboration with
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, will redefine itself to
address the large potential demand for vocational education. The issues of
management, monitoring and oversight of NIOS will be addressed
4.18 Internationalisation of Education
Internationalisation is an inevitable dimension of higher education in this era of
globalisation, and generation of new knowledge and its application.
Internationalisation comprises of mobility of students, scholars and faculty;
export/import of academic systems and cultures; research cooperation;
knowledge transfer and capacity building; internationalisation of curriculum and
learning outcomes; and cross-border delivery of programmes; and includes
virtual mobility and digital learning.
The internationalisation of higher education presents many opportunities, such
as, increasing the national and international visibility and profile of HEIs,
increased supply of higher education, greater access for students, support for the
knowledge economy, development of dual degrees, and the diversification and
generation of new academic environments.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. Selected foreign universities, from the top 200 in the world, will be
encouraged to establish their presence in India through collaboration with
Indian universities. If required, steps will be taken to put in place an
enabling legislation. Rules/ Regulations will be framed so that it is possible
for a foreign university to offer its own degree to the Indian students
studying in India, such that these degrees will be valid also in the country
2. Since internationalization is a two-way process, Indian institutions will
also be allowed to set up campuses abroad, if required, through suitable
legislations/ amendments in the relevant Acts/statutes.
3. In order to increase acceptability of Indian students abroad and to attract
international students, Indian HEIs will be encouraged to work towards
internationalization of curricula aligned with international levels so as to
make it globally compatible with best ranked institutions of the world.
Since many international students come to India for cultural and India
related studies, these areas will be developed to meet the needs of
4. HEIs will offer language and bridge courses for international students to
help them overcome language deficiency and/or difficulties due to higher
level of course curriculum.
5. Norms and regulations to allow foreign faculty to join Indian institutions of
higher education will be reviewed to encourage more foreign faculties join
the Indian HEIs. Genuine concerns and difficulties faced by foreign
students/ faculty pertaining to visa, registration/ extension of stay and tax
rules and regulations will be adequately addressed.
6. Internationalisation will be included as one of the components for
allocating additional financial resources to government-funded HEIs.
7. The government will initiate a dialogue with the countries who have put in
place a rigorous, robust and credible system of approval/ recognition/
accreditation/ quality assurance of the HEIs and programmes of studies.
An attempt will be made to form a group of such countries which would
recognise in their respective countries all qualifications awarded by
accredited higher education institutions in member States of this group.
8. Steps will be taken to gradually move from years-based recognition of
qualifications to credit-based recognition.
4.19 Faculty Development in Higher Education
With the fast pace of expansion of the higher education system, improving the
quality of teaching and teachers has become a critical factor. Greater attention on
ensuring that the best talent join teaching profession, their initial preparation
before their induction into teaching and continuing professional development
should be given, in the context of efforts for fostering quality education. Efficient
management of a university depends largely on the professional competence and
managerial skills of the senior management personnel. The present system of
appointing Vice-Chancellors, registrars and other senior management staff is
beset with problems that seem to affect the smooth functioning of the HEIs. The
education sector needs professionals with qualities of leadership and credibility
to tackle complex management issues.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. A task force of experts will be set up to study the recruitment, promotion and
retention procedures, followed by internationally renowned universities and
institutions and suggest measures to promote intellectual and academic
excellence in HEIs.
2. A national campaign will be launched to attract young talent into the
teaching profession. In order to attract young talent into teaching profession,
a career growth of research students, such as M.Phil & Ph.D scholars, will be
created and they will be designated as Academic Assistants and Academic
3. National and State Training Academies will be set up for organising
induction programme of 3-6 months for the newly recruited faculty. It will
be mandatory for a newly recruited faculty to acquire a Certificate in
Teaching before they formally take up teaching positions in HE institutions.
The induction programme will include teaching and research methodologies
(flip classrooms, collaborative learning, case approach), use of ICT,
curriculum structure and design, sensitisation to gender and social diversity,
professional ethics, sharing of best practices and updation of developments
in their field of study, etc. Induction training will be followed by an
orientation programme of 4-6 weeks at his/ her university to help him/ her
learn the culture of the institution, his/ her role and responsibilities, etc.
4. The profile of a teacher has undergone tremendous change in light of
technological developments, new dimensions of knowledge and changing
learner profile. In the changed context, role of learners and teachers will be
redefined to promote adoption of a blended model of pedagogy with a
combination of self-learning, practical and collaborative learning
components. This will also require reforms in assessment and examination.
5. A mechanism of assessment of academic performance of faculty including
peer review will be put in place so as to ensure academic accountability of
6. An appropriate mechanism with suitable selection and recruitment policies
will be put in place to ensure seamless mobility of experts from other fields,
like industries and government, into teaching (and vice versa) by allowing
for lateral entry and exit and encouraging secondment/ deputation to work
as adjunct faculty.
7. Reputed HEIs will be encouraged to set up leadership development centres
to offer short-term programmes, for senior faculty and management of HEIs,
which will be made mandatory for selection and appointment to higher level
leadership positions. These leadership programmes will cover decision
making modules, sensitisation modules, financial processes and procedures,
management of academic, financial and human resource, conflict resolution,
sensitisation towards weaker section, etc. to improve administrative and
4.20 Research, Innovation and New Knowledge
Although India’s overall share of research publications in the world has risen in
the past decade, the quality of research has not made a significant mark. Barring a
few pockets of excellence, the system is marked by mediocrity. Research minded
students and faculty prefer to go abroad as they do not find the research climate
in our institutions conducive. Favourable conditions need to be created in the
country to promote high quality research. The country needs to develop an
enabling condition for research and innovations by creating an administrative
and academic environment complementing higher education. In the context of
India’s emergence as a soft power, there is a need to promote generation of new
domains of learning required for a knowledge society.
The following policy initiatives will be taken:
1. Over the next decade, at least 100 new centres/ departments of excellence,
in the field of higher education, both in the public and the private sector,
will be established to promote excellence in research and encourage
innovations. Private trusts, philanthropists and foundations will be given
freedom to establish such Centres of Excellence.
2. A clear reorientation of research agenda of National University of
Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) will be undertaken to
reflect actual issues on the ground.
3. Steps will be taken to promote generation of new knowledge and their
applications and introduction of these new domains into the curricula of
higher education to consolidate and strengthen India’s position as a soft
4. In order to promote innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, 100 more
incubation centres will be established in HEIs over a period of next 5
5. International collaborations and networks will be promoted for developing
human resources required to sustain new knowledge with special focus on
inter-disciplinary research and studies.
4.21 Financing Education
Education, in Indian context, should be considered a public good and there is a
need for greater public investment in the sector. There are evidences to show that
countries which have heavily privatized education systems could not
economically and socially progress and hence there is a value loss rather than
gain. On the other hand, countries which consider education a public good reap
greater social benefits on a sustained basis. The earlier National Policies of 1968
and 1986/92 had recommended 6% of GDP as the norm for the national outlay on
education. However, the actual expenditure on education has remained
consistently below this level and in recent years it has hovered around 3.5%. This
brings into focus the need to enhance allocations to the education sector to reach
the desired target.
The following policy initiatives will be taken::
1. The government will take steps for reaching the long pending goal of
raising the investment in education sector to at least 6% of GDP as a
2. In order to supplement the Government efforts, investment in education by
private providers through philanthropy and corporate sector
responsibility will be encouraged. The Government will take steps for
incentivizing private sector investment in education, such as, tax benefits
and inclusion of education within the definition of infrastructure. In
general, public funding will continue for core activities, whereas other
functions can be through private funding. Private funding and FDI for R&D
and other quality enhancement activities in education institutions will be
pursued as an important strategy for mobilising financial resources. .
3. Instead of setting up new institutions, which require huge investments,
priority of the Government will be to expand the capacity of existing
4. HEIs funded by governments need to find ways of increasing their
revenues through other sources, such as, alumni funding, endowment
funding, tuition fee enhancement along with fee waiver for disadvantaged
sections, and private investment.
5. To make the present scheme of education loans to the economically
disadvantaged sections more effective, the scheme will be modified to
facilitate relaxations for collateral, lower interest rates and higher
moratorium period from the present one year to two years/rolling
6. In order to encourage excellence and efficiency, performance-linked
funding of higher education institutions will be implemented.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
The National Education Policy, 2016 has charted out many new directions and is also to be
seen in a continuum to the earlier education policies of 1968, 1986/92. It is imperative to
note that the Centre and the States have to work together in a spirit of cooperative
federalism to translate the intended goals and actionable strategies into realities that can
result in the transformation of the education landscape.
There are multiple stakeholders involved in education sector and each has a significant
contribution that can help to achieve the laudable goals of enhancing access, ensuring
equity, improving quality of education at all levels and empowering our students to become
truly global citizens and equip them with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes
necessary to meet the challenges of a dynamic knowledge society.
The Policy will be followed by a detailed implementation strategy which will lay down the
Framework For Action (FFA) for each of the directions that are spelled out in the preceding
section. It is pertinent to state that what is articulated in the Policy is not rigid or inflexible
but is only a projection of the desired direction. A certain degree of flexibility will be
expected, given the variety of aspirations and local conditions so as to suit contexts and
emerging scenarios, failing which implementation will be rendered either difficult or
There is sufficient evidence to show that past policy recommendations have remained
unrealised due to lack of mechanisms being put in place for effective implementation. To
avoid such a situation, it is desirable and appropriate if each State and UT formulates a
Framework For Action (FFA) which is synchronous to its regional, social and cultural
needs. This will entail making institutional arrangements, laying down administrative
processes with clear performance indicators to achieve quantifiable targets and desired
It is equally critical in the context of democratic decentralisation and greater community
participation that this process of specifying operational strategies will percolate
downwards to the grassroot levels with each district, block formulating a FFA of its own.
Similarly, it is essential that each educational institution will prepare a micro- level
operational plan of action.
Financial resources have always been a challenge that limits efficiency in outputs and the
entire governmental machinery, private sector and all other extra- governmental agencies
and the country as a whole, will shoulder the national responsibility of providing the
resource support for education. Hence, the culture of cost-effectiveness and accountability
will guide the functioning of the education system.
While outlining implementation framework, linkages between education and other related
services like child care, nutrition, health, sports, sanitation and water resources etc. will be
suitably factored so as to ensure commonality in achieving the outcomes. There is a
perceived need for greater coordination amongst the relevant multiple agencies and
functionaries also between education and other departments. Accordingly, appropriate
coordination mechanisms will be developed.
Learning from the past experiences, it will be the endeavour of each operating unit to
devise appropriate monitoring methods, mechanisms and systems, so that periodic
assessment and evaluation of the progress made in achieving the outcomes and outputs of
each actionable point can be undertaken. The monitoring will take place from the micro to
macro level at both the state and central government. This will provide an enabling and
systematised procedure that allows mid-course corrections, revisions in implementation
strategies for optimised results. This will also pre-empt any systemic breakdowns that
result in failure to realise the vision and overarching goals articulated in this policy.
Notwithstanding the above, given the size, variety and dimensions of our country; the
resulting educational sub-structures that operate; and the dynamic nature of a knowledge
and information based society, several challenges will be arising on a continuous basis,
which does necessitate periodic review. Hence, a five-year periodic review of the policy will
be carried out to keep up with the emerging national and global trends.