National Education Policy 2020


The union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the National Education Policy 2020 on July 29, 2020.

The policy is based on the Draft National Education Policy 2019, which the Committee for Draft National Education Policy – chaired by Dr. K. Kasturirangan, former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation – submitted to the Ministry of Human Resource Development on December 15, 2018.

The four-part National Education Policy covers school education (Part I); higher education (Part II); ‘Other Key Areas of Focus’ (Part III) such as adult education, promoting Indian languages and online education; and ‘Making it Happen’ (Part IV), which discusses the policy’s implementation.


  1. The policy seeks to restructure school curricula and pedagogy in a new '5+3+3+4' design, so that school education can be made relevant to the needs and interests of learners at different developmental stages – a 'Foundational Stage' (five years), a 'Preparatory Stage' (three years), a 'Middle Stage' (three years) and the 'High Stage' (four years, covering grades nine, 10, 11 and 12).

  2. It aims to achieve ‘universal foundational literacy and numeracy’ in primary schools by 2025. For this, the Ministry of Human Resource Development shall set up a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.

  3. Public and private schools – except the schools that are managed, aided or controlled, by the central government – will be assessed and accredited on the same criteria, benchmarks, and processes.

  4. The Gross Enrolment Ratio from preschool to secondary education should be 100 per cent by 2030. (GER is defined as the ratio of the total enrolment in education – regardless of age – to the official population in a given school year, expressed as percentage.) The policy states that universal participation in schools shall be achieved by tracking students and their learning levels to ensure they are enrolled and attending school, and have suitable opportunities to re-join or catch up at school in case they have dropped out or fallen behind.

  5. The medium of expression until at least grade five – but preferably till grade eight or beyond – shall be the student’s mother tongue, or the local or regional language. The ‘three-language formula’ will continue to be implemented in schools, where two of the three languages shall be native to India.

  6. The policy seeks to standardise the school curriculum for Indian Sign Language across the country.

  7. The government of India shall constitute a Gender-Inclusion Fund’ to provide equitable and quality education to all girls and transgender students. States shall use this fund to implement the central government’s policies for assisting female and transgender students, such as provisions for toilets and sanitation, conditional cash transfers and bicycles. The fund will enable states to support ‘community-based’ interventions.

  8. The policy suggests establishing ‘school complexes’ consisting of a secondary school and other schools offering lower grades of education – including anganwadi centres – in a radius of 5 to 10 kilometers. Such a complex will have “greater resource efficiency and more effective functioning, coordination, leadership, governance, and management of schools in a cluster."

  9. All education institutions shall be held to similar standards of audit and disclosure as a 'not-for-profit' entity, says this policy. If the institution generates a surplus, it shall be reinvested in the educational sector.

  10. The policy says that all ‘higher education institutions’ (HEIs) shall aim to be multidisciplinary by 2040. By 2030, there shall be at least one multidisciplinary HEI in or near every district. The policy aims for the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education to increase to 50 per cent by 2035 from 26.3 per cent in 2018.

  11. HEIs shall have the flexibility to offer Master’s programmes of two years for those who have completed a three-year undergraduate programme, of one year for students who have completed a four-year undergraduate programme, or five-year integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes.

  12. M.Phil. programmes shall be discontinued.

  13. The policy says that ‘high performing’ Indian universities shall be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries. Similarly, selected universities – such as those from among the top 100 universities in the world – shall be encouraged to operate in India.

  14. A National Research Foundation shall be established to facilitate “merit-based but equitable” peer-reviewed research funding.

  15. The policy says that the centre and states shall work together to increase public investment in education to 6 per cent of the gross domestic product, from the current 4.43 per cent.

    Focus and Factoids by Jinson George Chacko.


Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India


Government of India, New Delhi


29 Jul, 2020