Salient Features of the Policy
I. The Essence and Role of Education.
1. All Round Development:
In our national perception education is essentially for all. This is fundamental to our all round development material and
2. Acculturating Role:
Education has an acculturating role. It refines sensitivities and perceptions that contribute to national cohesion, a scientific
temper and independence of mind and spirit – thus furthering the goal of socialism, secularism and democracy enshrined in our
3. Development of Manpower:
Education develops manpower for different levels of the economy. It is also a substrate on which research and development
flourish, being the ultimate guarantee of national self-reliance.
4. Unique Investment:
Education is a unique investment in the present and the future. This cardinal principle is the key to the National Policy of Education.
II. National System of Education
1. Concept of National System:
The concept of National System of Education implies that, up to a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, have access to education of a comparable quality. To achieve this, the Government will initiate appropriately funded programmes. Effective measures will be taken in the direction of the Common School System recommended in the 1968 Policy.
2. New Structure of Education
The National System of Education envisages a common educational structure. The 10+2+3 structure has now been accepted in all parts of the country. Regarding the further break-up, the first 10 years efforts will be made to move towards an elementary system comprising 5 years of primary education and 3 years of upper primary, followed by 2 years of High School.
3. Common Core System:
The National System of Education will be based on a national curricular frame work which contains a common core along with other components that are flexible.
4. Responsibility of Nation:
The Nation as a whole will assume the responsibility of providing resource support for implementing programmes of educational transformation, reducing disparities, universalization of
elementary education, adult literacy, scientific and technological
5. Life Long Education:
Life-Long education is a cherished goal of the educational process. This presupposes universal literacy. Opportunities will be provided to the youth, housewives, agricultural and industrial workers and professional to continue the education of their choice, at the pace suited to them. The future thrust will be in the direction
of open and distance learning.
III. Education of Equality:
1. Disparities: The new Policy will lay special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalise educational opportunity by attending to the specific needs of those who have been denied equality so far.
2. Education for women’s Equality:
(i) Status of Women. Education will be used as an agent of basic change in the status of women. In order to neutralise the accumulated distortion of the past, there will be a will-conceived edge in favour of women.
(ii) Empowerment of Women. The National Education System will play a positive, interventionist role in the empowerment of women. It will foster the development of new values through redesigned curricula, text-books, the training and orientation of teachers, decision-makers and administrators and the active involvement of educational institutions. This will be an act of faith and social engineering.
(iii) Women’s Studies. Women‘s studies will be promoted as a part of various courses and educational institutions encouraged to take up active programmes to further women‘s development.
(iv) Removal of Illiteracy. The removal of women‘s illiteracy and obstacles inhibiting their access to, and retention in, elementary
education will receive overriding priority, through provision of special support services, setting of time targets and effective
(v) Vocational and Professional Courses. Major emphasis will be laid on women‘s participation in vocational, technical and
professional education at different levels. The policy of non-discrimination will be pursued vigorously to eliminate sex stereo-
typing in vocational and professional courses and to promote women‘s participation in non-traditional occupations, as well as in existing emergent technologies.
3. Education of Scheduled Castes:
The central focus in the SC‘s educational development is their equalisation with the non-SC population at all stages and
levels of education, in all areas and in all the four dimensions-rural male, rural female, urban male and urban female.
4. Education of Scheduled Tribes
Priority will be accorded to opening primary schools in tribal areas. The construction of school buildings will be undertaken in these areas on a priority basis under the normal funds for education, as well as under the N.R.E.P., R.L.E.G.P., Tribal welfare Schemes, etc.
5. Other Educationally backward Sections and Areas: Suitable incentive will be provided to all educationally backward sections of society, particularly in the rural areas. Hill and desert districts, remote and inaccessible areas and islands will be provided adequate institutional infra-structure.
Some minority groups are educationally deprived or backward. Greater attention will be paid to the education of these
groups in the interests of equality and social justice. This will naturally include the constitutional guarantees given to them to establish and administer their own educational institutions, and protection to their languages and culture. Simultaneously, objectivity will be reflected in the preparation of textbooks and in all school activities, and all possible measures will be taken to promote an integration based on appreciation of common national goals and ideals, in conformity with the core curriculum.
7. The Handicapped:
The objective should be to integrate the physically and mentally handicapped with the general community as equal partners, to prepare them for normal growth and to enable them to face life with courage and confidence.
8. Adult Education:
(i) Instruments for Liberation. Our ancient scriptures define education as that which liberates – i.e. provides the instruments for
liberation from ignorance and oppression. In the modern world, it would naturally include the ability to read and write, since that is the
main instrument of learning. Hence the crucial importance of adult
education, including adult literacy.
(ii) Up gradation of Skills. The critical development issue today is the continuous up-gradation of skills so as to produce manpower resources of the king and the number required by the society.
(iii) Strengthening the Existing programmes. Since participation
by beneficiaries in the developmental programmes is of crucial importance, systematic programmes of adult education linked with national goals such as alleviation of poverty, national integration, environmental conservation. Energisation of the cultural creativity of the people, observance of small family norm, promotion of women‘s equality, etc. will be organised and the existing programmes reviewed and strengthened.
(iv) Mass literacy Programme. The whole Nation must pledge itself to the education of illiteracy, particularly in the 15-35 age group. The Central and State Governments, political parties and their mass organisation, the mass media and educational institutions must commit themselves to mass literacy programmes of diverse nature. It will also have to involve on a large scale teachers, students youth, voluntary agencies, employers, etc. Concerted efforts will be made to harness various research agencies to improve the pedagogical aspects of adult literacy. The mass literacy programme would include, in addition to literacy, functional knowledge and skills, and also awareness among learners about the socio-economic reality and the possibility to change it.
(v) Programme of the Adult and Continuing Education. A vast
programme of adult and continuing education will be implemented
through various ways and channels, including-
a) establishment of centres in rural areas for continuing education;
b) workers‘ education through the employers, trade unions and
concerned agencies of government.
c) post-secondary education institutions;
d) wider promotion of books, libraries and reading rooms;
e) use of radio, TV and films, as mass and group learning media;
f) creation of learners‘ groups and organisations;
g) programmes of distance learning:
h) organising assistance in self-learning; and
i) organising need and interest based vocational training
IV. Reorganisation of Education at Different Stages:
1. Early Childhood Care and Education: Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) will receive high priority and be suitably integrated with the Integrated Child Development Services programme, wherever possible. Day-care centres will be provided as a support service for universalization of primary education.
2. Elementary Education:
Higher priority will be given to solve the problem of children dropping out of school. It shall be ensured that all children who
attain the age of about 11 years by 1990 will have had five years of schooling, or its equivalent through the non formal stream Likewise, by 1995, all children will be provided free and compulsory
education up to 14 years of age.
3. Operation Black-board:
Under this scheme, immediate steps will be taken to improve the primary schools all over the country. Provision will be made of
essential facilities in primary schools, including at least two reasonable large rooms that are usable in all weather, and the
necessary toys, black-boards, maps, charts and other learning material. At least two teachers, one of whom a woman, should work in every school, the number increasing as early as possible to one teacher per class.
4. Non-Formal Education:
A large and systematic programme of non-formal education will be launched for school drop-outs, for children from habitations without schools, working children and girls who cannot attend whole-day schools.
5. Secondary Education:
(i) Secondary education begins to expose students to the differentiated roles of science, the humanities and social sciences.
(ii) This is an appropriate stage to provide children with a sense of history and national perspective give them opportunities to
understand their constitutional duties and rights as citizens.
(iii) Conscious internalisation of a healthy work ethos and of the values of a humane and composite culture will be brought about
through appropriately formulated curricula.
(iv) Vocationalization through specialised institutions or through the refashioning of secondary education can, at this stage, provide valuable man-power for economic growth.
6. Pace Setting Schools (Navodaya Vidayalayas):
(i) Provision of Good Education. It is universally accepted that children with special talent or aptitude should be provided
opportunities to proceed at a faster pace, by making good quality education available to them, irrespective of their capacity to pay
(ii) Role of Navodaya Vidyalayas. Pace-setting Schools or Navodaya Vidyalayas intended to serve the above said purpose will be established in various parts of the country on a given pattern but will full scope for innovation and experimentation.
(iii) Aims of Navodaya Vidyalayas. Their broad aim will be:
(a) To serve the objective of excellence, coupled with equity and social justice (with reservation for SCs and STs).
(b) To promote national integration by providing opportunities to talented children, largely rural, from different parts of the
country to live and learn together.
(c) To develop their full potential.
(d) To become catalysts of a nation-wide programme of school improvement.
(iv) The schools will be residential and free of charge.
6. Pace Setting Schools (Navodaya Vidayalayas)
Vocational Education will be a distinct stream, intended to prepare students for identified occupations spanning several areas of activity. These courses will ordinarily be provided after the
secondary stage, but keeping the scheme flexible, they may also be made available after Class VIII. In the interests of integrating
vocational education better with their facilities the Industrial Training Institutes will also conform to the larger vocational pattern.
8. Higher Education:
a) Autonomous colleges will be helped to develop in large numbers until the affiliating system is replaced by a freer and more
creative association of universities with colleges.
b) Courses and programmes will be redesigned to meet the demands of specialisation better.
c) A major effort will be directed towards the transformation of teaching methods. Audio-visual aids and electronic equipment will be introduced, development of science and technology, curricula and material, research and teacher orientation will receive attention. This will require preparation of teachers at the beginning of the service as well as continuing education thereafter. Teachers‘ performance will be systematically assessed.
9. Open University and Distance Learning:
I. The open University system has been initiated in order to augment opportunities for higher education and as an instrument of democrating education.
II. The Indira Gandhi National open University established in 1985 in fulfilment of these objectives, will be strengthened.
III. This powerful instrument will have to be developed with care and extended with caution.
10.De-linking Degrees from Jobs:
De-linking will be applied in services for which a university degree need not be a necessary qualification. Its implementation
will lead to a re-fashioning of job specific courses and afford greater justice to those candidates who, despite being equipped for a given job, are unable to get it because of an unnecessary preference for
11. Rural University:
The new pattern of the Rural University will be consolidated and developed on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi‘s revolutionary ideas on education so as to take up the challenges of micro planning at grass-root levels for the transformation of rural areas. Institutions and programmes of Gandhian basic education will be supported.
V. Technical and Management Education:
Although, the two streams of technical and management education are functioning separately, it is essential to look at them together, in view of their close relationship and complementary concerns. The re-organisation of Technical and Management Education should take into account the anticipated scenario by the
turn of the century, with specific reference to the likely changes in the economy, social environment, production and management
processes, the rapid expansion of knowledge and the great audiences in science and technology.
VI. Making the System Work:
The country has placed boundless trust in the educational system. The people have a right to expect concrete results. The first task is to make it work. All teachers should teach and all students study.
The strategy in this behalf will consist of:
a) a better deal to teachers with greater accountability;
b) provision of improved student‘s services and insistence on observance of acceptable norms of behaviour;
c) provision of better facilities of institutions; and
d) creation of a system of performance appraisals of institutions according to standards and norms set at the National or State levels.
VII. Reorienting the Content and Process of Education:
1. The Cultural Perspective
I. Cultural Content. The curricula and process of education will be enriched by cultural content in as many manifestations as possible. Children will be enabled to develop sensitivity to beauty, harmony and refinement.
II. Cultural Enrichment. Resource persons in the community, irrespective of their formal educational qualifications, will be invited to contribute to the cultural enrichment of education employing both the literate and oral traditions of communication.
III. Cultural Tradition. To sustain and carry forward the cultural tradition, the role of old masters, who train pupils through traditional modes will be supported and recognised.
2. Value Education:
I. Moral Values. The growing concern over the erosion of essential values and an increasing cynicism in society has brought to focus the need for readjustments in the curriculum in order to make education of social and moral values.
II. Eternal Values. In our culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the
unity and integration of our people. Such value education should help eliminate obscurantism, religious fanaticism, violence,
superstition and fatalism.
III. Positive Content. Apart from this combative role value education has a profound positive content, based on our heritage, national goals universal perceptions. it should lay primary emphasis on this aspect.
3. Books and Libraries:
I. Availability of Books. The availability of books at low prices its indispensible for people‘s education. Effort will be made to secure easy accessibility to books for all segments of the population.
II. Improvement of Quality. Measures will be taken to improve the quality of books, promote the reading habit and encourage
III. Author’s interest. Author‘s interest will be protected.
IV. Translation of Foreign Books. Good translation of foreign books into Indian languages will be supported..
V. Children Books. Special attention will be paid to the production of quality books for children, including text books and work books.
VI. Improvement of Libraries. A nation-wide movement for the improvement of existing libraries and the establishment of few ones will be taken up. Provision will be made in all educational institutions for library facilities and the status of librarians improved.
4. Work Experience:
Work experience would comprise activities in accord with the interests, abilities and needs of students, the level of skills and
knowledge to be upgraded with the stages of education. This experience to be helpful on his entry into the workforce. Pre-vocational programmes provided at the lower secondary stage will also facilities the choice of the vocational courses at the higher
5. Education and Environment:
There is a paramount need to create a consciousness of the environment. It must permeate all ages all sections of society
beginning with the child. Environmental consciousness should inform teaching in schools and colleges. This aspect will be
integrated in the educational process.
6. Mathematics Teaching:
I. Mathematics should be visualised as the vehicle to train a child to think, reason, analyse and to articulate logically. Apart from being a specific subject, it should be treated as concomitant to any subject involving analysis and reasoning.
II. With the recent introduction of computer in schools, educational computing and the emergence of learning through the
understanding of cause-effect relationships and the interplay of variables, the teaching of mathematics will be suitably redesigned to bring it in line with modern technological devices.
7. Science Education:
I. Science education will be strengthened so as to develop in the child well defined abilities and values such as the spirit of
inquiry, creativity, objectivity, the courage to question and an aesthetic sensibility.
II. Science education programmes will be designed to enable the learner to acquire problem solving and decision making skills
and to discover the relationship of science with health, agriculture, industry and other aspects of daily life. Every effort will be made to extend science education to the vast numbers who have remained outside the pale of formal education.
8. Sports and Physical Education:
Sports and physical education are an integral part of the learning process and will be included in the evaluation of performance. A nation-wide infrastructure for physical education, sports and games will be built into the educational edifice.
9. The Role of Youth:
Opportunities will be provided for the youth to involve themselves in national and social development through educational
institutions and outside them. Students will be required to participate in one or the other of existing schemes, namely, the
National service Scheme, National Cadet Corps, etc. outside the institutions, the youth will be encouraged to take up programmes of development reform and extension. The National Service Volunteer Scheme will be strengthened.
10. Evaluation Process and Examination Reform:
The objective will be to re-cast the examination system so as to ensure a method of assessment that is a valid and reliable measure of student development. Following measures will be
a) The elimination of excessive element of chance and subjectivity.
b) The de-emphasis of memorisation.
c) Effective use of the evaluation process by teachers, students and parents.
d) Improvement in the conduct of examinations.
e) Introduction of con-cointal changes instructional materials and methodology.
f) Introduction of the semester system from the secondary stage in a phased manner.
g) The use of grades in place of marks.
VIII. The Teacher:
1. (a) The status of the teacher reflects the socio-cultural ethos of a society; it is said that no people can rise above the level of its
(b) The methods of recruiting teacher will be reorganised to ensure merit, objectivity and conformity with spatial and functional requirements.
(c) Teachers‘ associations must play a significant role in up holding
professional integrity, enhancing the dignity of the teachers and in curbing professional misconduct.
2. Teacher Education:
a) Teacher education is a continuous process and its pre-service and in-service components are inseparable.
b) District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) will be established with the capability to orgainse pre-service and in-
service courses for elementary school teachers and for the personnel working in non-formal and adult education.
c) Selected Secondary Teacher Training Colleges will be up-graded to complement the work of State Councils of Educational
Research and Training.
IX. The Management of Education:
1. At National Level:
The Central Advisory Board of Education will play of pivotal role in reviewing educational development, determining the changes required to improve the system and monitoring implementation.
2. Indian Education Service:
A proper management structure in education will entail the establishment of the Indian Education Service as an All India
3. At State Level:
State Government may establish State Advisory Boards of Education on the lines of CABE.
4. At District and Local Level:
a) District Board of Education will be created to manage education up to the higher secondary level.
b) Local communities, through appropriate bodies, will be assigned a major role in programmes of school improvement.
5. Voluntary Agencies and Aided Institutions: Non-government and Voluntary effort including social activist groups will be encouraged, subject to proper management, and financial assistance provided.
X. Resources and Review:
Education will be treated as a crucial area of investment for national development and survival. The National Policy on Education, 1968, had laid down that the investment on education be gradually increased to reach a level of expenditure of 6 percent of the national income as early as possible. Since the actual level of investment has remained far short of that target, it is important that greater determination be shown now to find the funds for the programmes laid down in this Policy. While the actual requirements will be computed from time to time on the basis of monitoring and review, the outlay on education will be shapped up to the extent essential for policy implementation in the Seventh plan. It will be ensured that from the Eighth Five Year plan onwards it will uniformally exceed to 6 percent of the National income.
The implementation of the various parameters of the New Policy must be reviewed every five years. Appraisals at short intervals will also be made to ascertain the progress of implementation and the trends emerging from time to time.
XI. The Future:
The future shape of education in India is too complex to envision with precision. Yet, given our tradition which has almost
always put a high premium on intellectual and spiritual attainment,we are bound to succeed in achieving our objectives.