MDRD renamed to Ministry of Education

Structure of the Ministry

Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has been renamed as Ministry of Education. (2020)

It is responsible for expanding access and improving quality of the educational institutions.


Department of School Education and Literacy

  • It deals with primary, secondary, and higher secondary education, adult education, and literacy.
  • Principle: Universalization of education
  • Sarva Siksha Abhiyan,
  • Digital gender Atlas (with UNICEF) (Not in MoWC)


Department of Higher Education

  • It deals with a university education, technical education, scholarship, etc.
  • Education Policy, Secondary, and post-secondary education.
  • Deemed university status on the advice of UGC, [UGC: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Committee]
  • International Cooperation: UNESCO India, Book Promotion and Copyrights (earlier)
  • One of the largest higher education systems in the world, after the USA and China.
  • World-class (J) opportunities for higher education and research
  • Bodies:
    • UGC, NCERT, ICSSR (Social Science), ICHR (Historical), ICPR (Philosophical).
    • AICTE (Technical Education), IIT, IISER, IIM, NIT, IGNOU.
    • KVS, NVS [Kendriya, Navodaya Vidyalaya]


New Education Policy 2020

  • Union Cabinet has approved the NEP, 2020.


Evolution of Education Policy

  • University Education Commission (1948)
  • Secondary Education Commission (1952)
  • Dr. D.S. Kothari Education Commission (1964)
  • National Policy on Education, 1968
  • Education in Concurrent List: 42nd CAA, 1976.
  • National Policy on Education, 1986
  • NPE 1986 Program of Action, 1992.
  • T.S.R. Subramaniam Committee (2016): Inputs for Draft National Education Policy, 2016.
  • Dr. K. Kasturirangan Committee (2019): Draft National Education Policy, 2019.

NEP 2020 is formulated based on the bottom-up–approach: involved over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats, 6000 ULBs, 6600 Blocks, 676 Districts.


National Education Policy, 1986 and Program of Action, 1992

  • All students irrespective of caste; creed, sex, and religion have access to education of a comparable quality.

Elementary Education

  • Universal access and enrolment
  • Universal retention of children up to 14 years age
  • Quality education to achieve essential levels of learning.

Secondary Education

  • Computer literacy: To equip students with necessary computer skills.

Higher Education

  • To address the critical social, economic, cultural, moral and spiritual issues.


Objectives of New Education Policy 2020

  • India to have an education system by 2040 that is second to none.
  • Transformational reforms in school and higher education systems.
  • To replace the NPE, 1986.
  • An education system to contribute to an equitable and vibrant knowledge society.
  • To prepare responsible citizens: To develop a deep sense of respect towards the Constitution, Constitutional values, bonding with the country.
  • To prepare a truly global citizen: roles and responsibilities in the changing world, responsible commitment to human rights, sustainable development, global well-being.
  • The overall development of children: to instill skills and values etc.
  • To achieve the SDG Goal 4: “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.
    • The SDG adopted by India in 2015.
    • Such a lofty goal will require the entire education system to be reconfigured to support and foster learning.



Key Provisions of NEP 2020

1. Reforming School Education: discussed in next topic.

2. Reforming Higher Education: discussed in next topic.

3. Education Financing

  • To increase the public investment in the Education sector to 6% of GDP.
  • Centre and States to work together.
  • Promotion and support for private philanthropic activity in the education sector.

4. Technology in education

  • National Educational Technology Forum (NETF): An autonomous body.
  • To enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration, teacher’s professional development.
  • Online Education: To ensure preparedness with alternative modes of quality education
    • A dedicated unit to be created in the MHRD.
    • Digital infrastructure, content, and capacity building.

5. Promotion of Indian Languages, Arts, and Culture

  • New programmes across the country: for Indian languages, comparative literature, creative writing, arts, music, philosophy, etc.
    • Degrees to be developed in these subjects.
  • High-quality programmes and degrees be created in Art and Museum Administration, Archaeology etc.
  • Academies for all languages in the Eighth Schedule to be established.
  • Artists-in-Residence: to expose students to art, creativity, and the rich treasures of the region/country.
  • Outstanding local artists to be hired as guest faculty.

6. Adult Education

  • To achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.
  • Use of schools beyond school hours.
  • Use technology: eg. online courses, satellite-based TV channels and ICT-equipped libraries.

7. Professional Education

  • To be an integral part of the higher education system.
  • Multi-disciplinary institutions: Stand-alone health science, technical, legal, agricultural universities, etc. will aim to become multi-disciplinary.

8. Inclusive Education: special emphasis on Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs).


School Education: NEP 2020

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)

Provisions under NEP 2020

  • Universal Access for children of 3-6 years: To bring this hitherto uncovered age group under school curriculum.
  • To be delivered through pre-schools and Anganwadis.
  • Teachers and Anganwadi workers trained in ECCE pedagogy and curriculum.
  • Joint Implementation: by Ministries of Education, Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare (HFW), and Tribal Affairs.
  • Pre-school sections to be added to Kendriya Vidyalayas and other primary schools, particularly in disadvantaged areas.
  • National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for ECCE (NCPFECCE): NCERT will develop it for children up to the age of 8.


Attainment of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy

It is the ability to read and comprehend basic text and the ability to carry out basic addition and subtraction.

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
    • For all primary schools, up to grade 3 by 2025.
    • by MHRD
    • States/UTs will prepare an implementation plan.
  • National Book Promotion Policy is to be formulated to ensure the availability, accessibility, quality, etc.
  • National Repository of high-quality resources will be made available on Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) platform.


To reduce Dropout Rates and to ensure Universal Access to Education

Present Status:

  • A significant proportion of enrolled students drop out, especially after Grade 8.
  • Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for Grades 6-8: 91%
  • GER for Grades 9-10: 80%
  • GER for Grades 11-12: 56%

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • To achieve 100% GER up to the secondary level by 2030.
  • Providing effective and sufficient infrastructure.
  • Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programmes offered by the NIOS and State Open Schools to be expanded.
  • Tracking students and their learning levels.


Curriculum and Pedagogy

Present status:

  • The educational system is of general education in nature.
  • Technical and vocational education is quite unsatisfactory.

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • Restructuring the school curriculum and pedagogy in a 5+3+3+4 design, covering the age group of 3 to 18 years.
    • 5 years Foundational Stage: 3 years of pre-school; 2 years in a primary school in Grades 1-2.
    • 3 years Preparatory Stage: Grades 3, 4, 5.
    • 3 years Middle Stage: Grades 6 to 8.
    • 4 years High Stage: Grades 9 to 12.
  • Freedom of choosing a variety of subject combination: no rigid separation
    • Among curricular, extracurricular, or co-curricular
    • Among arts, humanities, and sciences.
    • Between vocational or academic streams.

  • Contemporary subjects: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Holistic Health, Environmental Education, Global Citizenship Education (GCED), etc.
  • Vocational education: the 10-day bagless period during Grades 6-8. Eg. by vocational experts such as carpenters, artists, etc.
  • Experiential learning in all stages: eg. arts-integrated and sports-integrated education.
  • Reduced curriculum to its core essentials to enhance essential learning and critical thinking.
  • National Curricular Framework for School Education to be developed by NCERT.


Student Assessment

Present status:

  • The current nature of school exams and entrance exams leads to coaching culture.
  • These exams force students to learn a very narrow band of knowledge.

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • School examinations in Grades 3, 5, and 8.
  • Board exams for Grades 10 and 12 to be redesigned.
  • National Assessment Centre: PARAKH
    • To be set up as a standard-setting body under MHRD.
    • PARAKH: Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development.
  • Holistic Progress Card: 360-degree and multidimensional report. eg.
    • cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains;
    • self-assessment, peer assessment, teacher assessment
  • National Testing Agency (NTA): An autonomous body to conduct entrance examinations for UG, fellowships in HEIs.



Present status:

  • English is themedium of instruction, particularly in science subjects.
  • Challenge for rural students.
  • Indian languages are still under-developed.
  • Standard publications are not available in Indian language.

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • Mother tongue or local language as medium of instruction: till grade 5, and preferably till Grade 8 and beyond.
  • The Languages of India:
    • A fun activity to be taken by every student.
    • Under ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’
  • Three languages formula with greater flexibility.
  • Options of languages in schools:
    • All classical languages to be widely available. (Sanskrit, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam)
  • Pali, Persian, and Prakrit to be widely available.
  • Indian Sign Language (ISL) to be standardized across the country.


Equitable and Inclusive Education

For Socio-Economically Disadvantaged groups -SEDGs

Present status: U-DISE 2016-17 data

  • Drop-off students from primary level to higher secondary:
    • SCs: 20% to 17%.
    • STs: 10% to 7%
    • Differently abled children: 1% to 0.2%
    • Even greater declines for female students.


Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • Gender Inclusion Fund for female and transgenders
  • Special Education Zones (SEZ): Large populations from SEDGs will be declared as SEZ.
  • To establish Bal Bhavans: a special daytime boarding school.
  • Fee waivers and scholarships to meritorious SEDG students.
  • Additional Schools in aspirational districts/SEZs
  • Free school infrastructure to be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.


Robust Teacher Education and Recruitment

  • By 2021: New comprehensive National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education
  • By 2030: a 4-year integrated B.Ed. the degree to be the minimum qualification for teaching.
  • Teacher Eligibility Tests (TET) for all teachers in both public and private schools.
  • NTA testing for B.Ed. admission.
  • A National Mission for Mentoring with a large pool of outstanding senior/retired faculty
  • More autonomy to teachers in choosing aspects of pedagogy.
  • Restructuring of NCTE (National Council for Teacher Education) as a Professional Standard Setting Body (PSSB).
    • Under the General Education Council (GEC).
  • National Professional Standards for Teachers (NPST): Tobe developed by NCTE by 2022.


School Governance

Present status: Numerous very small schools.

  • Economically suboptimal and operationally complex.
  • Teachers often teach multiple grades and subjects at a time.
  • Isolation has a negative effect.
  • Challenge for governance and management.

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • Schools can be organized into complexes or clusters: It will be the basic unit of governance.
  • Schools to develop School Development Plans (SDPs).
  • Twinning or pairing of one public school with one private school across the country.


Standards and Accreditation for School Education

Present status:

  • Department of School Education: All main functions of school education governance system are handled by a single body.
  • This leads to conflict of interests and excessive centralized concentration of power
  • Commercialization by for-profit private schools

Key Provisions under NEP 2020

  • National Achievement Survey (NAS): a sample-based NAS of student learning levels by the proposed new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH.
  • Public and private schools to be assessed and accredited on the same criteria.
    • Exception: schools managed, aided, controlled by the Centre.
  • We defined and separate systems: for policymaking, regulation, operations and academic matters.
  • State School Standards Authority (SSSA): Independent bodies to be set up by the States/UTs.
  • School Quality Assessment and Accreditation Framework (SQAAF) to be developed by SCERT.



Higher Education: NEP, 2020

A complete overhaul and re-energising of the higher education system.


Institutional Restructuring & Consolidation

  • All HEIs to be consolidated into three types:
    • Autonomous degree-granting colleges: almost exclusive focus on teaching.
    • Teaching Universities: primary focus on teaching; significant focus on research.
    • Research Universities:  equal focus on research and teaching.
  • To phase out Affiliation of colleges in 15 years.
    • Stage-wise mechanism to be established for granting graded autonomy.
  • To increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio from 26% to 50% by 2035.
  • by 2040: All HEIs to become multidisciplinary institutions.
  • By 2030: at least one large multidisciplinary HEI in or around every district.


Holistic Multidisciplinary Education

Undergraduate education with flexible curriculum

  • Creative combinations of subjects.
  • Multiple entries and exit points with appropriate certification.
  • Integration of vocational education
  • Academic Bank of Credit: for digitally storing academic credits earned from different HEIs.
    • These can be transferred and counted towards the final degree earned.
  • MERUs: Multidisciplinary Education and Research Universities at par with IITs, IIMs.
  • National Research Foundation to be created as an apex body for a strong research culture.


Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)

It will be a single overarching umbrella body.

  • Public and private higher education institutions to be governed by the same norms.
  • It excludes medical and legal education.

HECI structure:

  • NHERC: National Higher Education Regulatory Council.
  • General Education Council (GEC) for standard setting.
  • Higher Education Grants Council (HEGC) for funding.
  • National Accreditation Council (NAC) for accreditation.


Internationalization of HEIs

  • High performing Indian universities to be encouraged to set up offshore campuses.
  • Selected global universities will be facilitated to operate in India.
  • The legislative framework for global operations: on par with other autonomous institutions of India.
  • Internationally relevant curriculum.
  • Global research collaboration and student exchanges.
  • An International Students Office at each HEI hosting foreign students.
  • Credits acquired in foreign universities to be permitted and to be counted for the award of a degree.


Equity and Inclusion

Emphasis on SEDGs.

Steps by Governments

  • Earmark suitable Government funds.
  • Well defined targets for higher GER for SEDGs.
  • Gender balance in HEIs.
  • Establishing more HEIs in aspirational districts and Special Education Zones with larger SEDGs.

Steps by HEIs

  • More inclusive curriculum
  • To provide more financial assistance and scholarships to SEDGs.
  • To mitigate opportunity costs and fees.
  • Sensitization of faculty, students, and counselors.
  • Strict enforcement of no-discrimination and anti-harassment rules.



Mandarin language

  • A type of Chinese language.
  • National Education Policy, 2020has dropped Mandarin or Chinese from the list of foreign languages that could be taught in schools.


Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA)

  • Created in 2017
  • JV: Ministry of Education, GOI and Canara Bank.
  • equity participation: 90.91% and 09.09%.
  • HEFA is registered under the Companies Act 2013, and as Non–deposit taking NBFC with RBI.


  • To mobilize resources from the market by way of equity from individuals/corporates
  • Financial assistance to create educational infrastructure.
  • To channelize CSR contributions

National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

  • An independent body to conduct examination for government jobs: common eligibility test (CET)
  • Announced in the Union Budget; approved by the Union Cabinet.
  • Initially, CET:  to shortlist candidates for Group B and C (non -technical) posts, which are currently conducted by the SSC, RRBs, and IBPS.
  • Later on, more exams may be brought under it.
  • However, the present recruiting agencies– IBPS, RRB, and SCC, will remain in place.
  • Screening to be done at the CET level.
    • Final selection through separate specialized Tiers (II, III, etc.).
    • conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.


  • Chairman: the rank of the Secretary to the GoI.
  • Members: from Ministry of Railways, RRB, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, SSC, IBPS.

Other details:

  • The CET will be held twice a year.
  • CET score validity: three years.
  • Examination centers in every district
  • No restriction on the number of attempts.
  • Subject to the upper age limit.
  • Examinations in 12 languages.



PMRF: PM Research Fellowship Scheme

  • Launched by MHRD.
  • To improve the quality of research in various HEIs. [Ha Ha What a joke]
  • To attract the best talent into research with attractive fellowships.
  • Direct admission to the Ph.D. program in IITs/IISc: Students from any recognized institute can apply.
  • No reservation quota.
  • In addition to direct entry, lateral entry is now allowed.
  • NITs in the top 25 National Institutional Ranking Framework can also grant PMRF.




Digital Infrastructure Knowledge Sharing

  • Launched by MHRD
  • To provide supplementary learning for students,
  • To serve as National Digital Infrastructure for Teachers.
    • To aid teachers to learn and train themselves.


Global Education Coalition (GEC)

  • Launched by UNESCO.
  • For inclusive learning opportunities during the educational disruption period due to COVID-19.
  • Solutions to provide education remotely
  • Seek equitable solutions and universal access
  • It is a multi-sector partnership. United Nations, private sector, civil society, NGOs, etc.



RISE 2022

Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) by 2022

  • Initiative in the budget.
  • HEFA’s scope under RISE is greatly expanded.


India Rankings 2020

under National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)

  • Released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
  • It is a voluntary exercise where only institutions that submit required data are ranked.



Atal Rankings of Institutions on Innovation Achievements

  • ARIIAis an initiative of the Ministry of Education
  • To rank major HEIs and universities in India.
  • Courses and programs on IPR, Innovation, Start-up and Entrepreneurship.


Global Education Monitoring Report 2020

  • Published by UNESCO.
  • 2020 title: Inclusion and education: All means all.

UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

  • Headquarters: in Paris, France.
  • It has 193 Members, including India.



Delhi HC issues notice to UPSC

  • USPSC neglected the minimum reservation to be provided to disabled persons.
  • 4% mandatory reservation under section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.
  • only 24 vacancies out of 796 vacancies, (4% is 32)