National Education Policy 2020: Why states are wary

By - 18 June 2022

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18 June 2022

For a country of India’s size and diversity, a national education policy, besides reforming the education sector for improving quality and promoting excellence, is essentially expected to promote national integration and cohesion between the Centre and the states. Going by the developments in higher education, the National Education Policy (NEP 2020) must not end up doing just the opposite.

The NCERT has dropped content on Gujarat riots from the Class 12 Political Science curriculum as part of a “textbook rationalisation” exercise in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a note on the rationalised content released by the NCERT on Thursday, pages 187-189 on Gujarat riots are among the removals from the book. Page 105 of the book on the history of the “Naxalite movement”, and pages 113-117 on “Controversies regarding Emergency” have also been dropped.

The policy has already caused disquiet in the states. Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have come out in the open about their reservations against the policy. West Bengal too is getting the policy assessed for its implications and is likely to follow suit. As the implementation of the policy intensifies, their discomfiture has been growing all the more. They clamour to be an equal partner in the process of reforming higher education but find themselves at the receiving end. They are feeling exceedingly sidelined and see no attempts to address their concerns. Nor do they see any efforts to reach out to them to seek their support and cooperation.

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