Education Minister Dr.Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ speaks on NEP 2020 in AMU online seminar

Aligarh: “The implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will transform India as it connects the past with the future and focuses on leading India to the top,” said Union Education Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

He was speaking in the online seminar on ‘National Education Policy-2020’ of the Aligarh Muslim University and the virtual book release function of ‘Physics of Neutrino Interactions’ (Cambridge University Press) authored by Prof M Sajjad Athar and Prof S K Singh.

Stressing that NEP is based on concepts of equity, quality and accessibility, the Education Minister said that the education policy is aimed to bring India’s diverse nature in terms of regional languages with the benefit of providing primary education in mother tongue.

Noting that some people had raised doubts over the global appeal of the new policy vis-a-vis use of English, he urged people to look at the successes of countries like Japan, Germany, France, and Israel, which have progressed in science and education with the use of their mother tongues.

“The NEP will not only focus on building the capacity of students, but also of teachers and institutions. We have received several lakh of suggestions for the NEP and we are open to hearing more from the people of the country,” said Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal.

“If you look at the NEP from a wider horizon, the policy is as national as it is international. It is impactful, inclusive and interactive,” he added.

Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal pointed out that the new National Education Policy (NEP) approved by the Union Cabinet on July 29 is set to create an education system that contributes directly to transforming the country, providing high-quality education to all, and making India a global knowledge superpower.

He emphasised that NEP 2020 is designed to enable students to study one or more specialized areas of interest at a deep level, and also develop character, scientific temper, creativity, the spirit of service, and 21st-century capabilities across a range of disciplines including sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, among others.

Stating that it is only education, which brings people from darkness to the path of the enlightened; Shri Pokhriyal said that people, who will implement this policy in over a 1000 universities, 35, 000 degree colleges and numerous schools of the country, have a huge role to play.

He emphasised that currently, children in the age group of 3-6 are not covered in the 10+2 structure as Class 1 begins at age 6. However, in the new 5+3+3+4 structure, a strong base of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from age 3 is also included, which is aimed at promoting better overall learning, development, and well-being.

“Performance of students in schools will no more be judged with report cards, instead students will be given progress card for a holistic, multidimensional report that reflects in great detail the progress as well as the uniqueness of each learner in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains,” said the Education Minister.

Explaining the system of university degree programmes under the new policy, Shri Pokhriyal said higher education will offer a three to four-year Bachelor’s degree programme with options to exit after one-year with a diploma, leaving the course after two years with an Advanced Diploma and after three years with the Bachelor’s degree. A four-year degree programme will give the student a Bachelor’s degree with research.

“I am proud that AMU is progressing steadily in various fields under the guidance of Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor. He praised the Vice Chancellor for his hard and dedicated efforts to improve the University in all spheres of academic activities and improving the image of the University in India and abroad.

Shri Pokhriyal also released ‘Physics of Neutrino Interactions’ (Cambridge University Press) by Prof M Sajjad Athar and Prof S K Singh. The book is an advanced text on neutrino physics, giving a pedagogical description of the neutrino, its properties, the standard model of electroweak interactions, and neutrino scattering from leptons and nucleons.

Terming July 29, the day when NEP 2020 was released as historical day, Prof D P Singh, Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC), said that the policy has the potential to bring large-scale transformational reforms in school and higher education sector.

Prof Singh added that the policy was built on the principle that education must develop not only cognitive capacities-both the foundational capacities of literacy and numeracy and the higher order cognitive capacities such as critical thinking and problem solving, but also social, ethical and emotional capacities and dispositions.

He pointed out that the new policy will establish multidisciplinary universities and colleges and promote institutional autonomy at academic and administrative levels.

“NEP 2020 will bring integration of academic, professional and vocational education; while revamping curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and student support for enhanced student experiences,” he said adding that the policy attempts to bring into focus the notion of a knowledge of many arts or liberal arts from the country’s historical education system to 21st Century education system.

For the successful implementation and execution of NEP 2020, we have a huge expectation from our higher educational institutions and we are looking forward to their constant support, said Prof Singh.

Congratulating Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal for receiving the Vatayan Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary contribution in the field of Literature, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said that credit for NEP 2020 goes to the Education Minister, who has brought people of various backgrounds and political denominations on a common platform with the consensus on NEP 2020.

He added that Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal had demonstrated remarkable leadership to keep the education system functioning during the pandemic.

“The UGC and the Education Minister have successfully managed to save the academic year despite the surge in Covid cases bringing all countries to a halt,” said the Vice Chancellor.

Prof Mansoor pointed out that it was due to the vision of Education Minister that the universities throughout the country were able to conduct online classes to complete the academic year.

“AMU is doing trials of Covaxin of Bharat Biotech. Academic and economic activities will be restored after the vaccinations to stop the coronavirus spread begin,” said the Vice Chancellor.

In the first technical session, Prof Qazi Mazhar Ali, Dean, Faculty of Science explained the need of the New Education Policy; while Prof Nasrin, Chairperson, Department of Education did a presentation of education from the preparatory stage, middle and senior school to higher learning.

AMU Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) also attended the online programme.

Prof M Sajjad Athar extended the vote of thanks.