The National Education Policy, 2020 was released by the Union Cabinet on July 29, 2020. The fundamental principles of the National Education Policy are to identify and foster the unique capabilities of each student by promoting creativity and critical thinking to encourage logical decision-making and innovation. It also facilitates extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers and educational planning and management. It encourages innovation and out-of-the-box ideas through autonomy, good governance, and empowerment. It promotes outstanding research as a requisite for outstanding education and deployment.
The vision of the policy is to improve the quality of education by giving an equal space to creativity and innovation and transform India into a vibrant knowledge society.
The Education Policy focuses on innovation and creativity in the following ways-
- A national repository of high-quality resources on foundational literacy and numeracy will be made available on the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA). Technological interventions to serve as aids to teachers and to help bridge any language barriers that may exist between teachers and students, will be piloted and implemented.
- Enjoyable and inspirational books for students at all levels will be developed, by using high-quality translation (technology assisted as needed) in all local and Indian languages, and will be made available extensively in both school and local public libraries in order to improve the quality of education.
- With the help of technology and innovation, Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programmes offered by the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and State Open Schools will be expanded and strengthened for meeting the learning needs of young people in India who are not able to attend a physical school.
- To close the gap in achievement of learning outcomes, classroom transactions will shift, towards competency-based learning and education.
- To promote multilingualism, the teaching of all languages will be enhanced through innovative and experiential methods, including through gamification and apps, by weaving in the cultural aspects of the languages – such as films, theatre, storytelling, poetry, and music
- High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities e.g., those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India. Efforts will also be made to incentivize the merit of students belonging to SC, ST, OBC, and other SEDGs. The objective behind this is to improve innovation and increase the number and types of courses.
- For the professions involving Artificial Intelligence, it will be very important to be well-versed with mathematics and mathematical thinking therefore, mathematics and computational thinking will be given increased emphasis throughout the school years, starting with the foundational stage, through a variety of innovative methods.
- The policy places emphasis on the fact that higher education must form the basis for knowledge creation and innovation thereby contributing to a growing national economy. This will result in a more productive, innovative, progressive, and prosperous nation.
- Higher Education Institutions will focus on research and innovation by setting up start-up incubation centres; technology development centres; centres in frontier areas of research. HEIs will develop specific hand holding mechanisms and competitions for promoting innovation among student communities.
- It will enable strong and innovative government initiatives for adult education to expedite the all-important aim of achieving 100% literacy.
- The policy empowers the faculty of HEIs to conduct innovative teaching, research, and service as they see best. This will be a key motivator and enabler for them to do truly outstanding, creative work.
- In order to promote creativity, institutions and faculty will have the autonomy to innovate on matters of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment within a broad framework of higher education qualifications.
- The research and innovation investment in India is, at the current time, only 0.69% of GDP as compared to 2.8% in the United States of America, 4.3% in Israel and 4.2% in South Korea. To deal with the major challenges which India faces in today’s time such as healthcare, quality education, sanitation etc, a top notch science along with innovation and technology is required.
- Any country’s identity, upliftment, spiritual/intellectual satisfaction and creativity is also attained in a major way through its history, art, language, and culture. Research in the arts and humanities, along with innovations in the sciences and social sciences, are, therefore, extremely important for the progress and enlightened nature of a nation.
- To truly grow and catalyze quality research in India, this policy envisions the establishment of a National Research Foundation (NRF) which will recognise and support outstanding research at at academic institutions, particularly at universities and colleges where research is currently in a nascent stage, through mentoring of such institutions. The NRF will competitively fund research in all disciplines.
- Professional Technical education and innovation in fields like engineering, technology, management, architecture, town planning, pharmacy, hotel management, catering technology etc., will be promoted
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be created to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration, and so on, both for school and higher education.
- The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for alternative modes of quality education. NEP recognizes both the advantages and disadvantages of technology. For online or digital education, it is very important to eliminate the digital divide. The policy also recommends certain key initiatives such as Content creation, digital repository, and dissemination; Pilot studies for online education; Digital infrastructure etc.
Such a comprehensive policy which aims at promoting innovation and creativity and encourages students to showcase their unique and creative skills and gives them a chance to pursue the same is need of the hour and lays foundation for a better and brighter tomorrow. The Indian Education System should now move towards critical and innovative thinking and problem solving and should lay particular emphasis on the development of the creative potential of each individual. Proper implementation of these reforms will transform India into a global knowledge superpower in the future.