National Policy on Education

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The National Policy on Education (NPE) is a policy formulated by the Government of India to promote education amongst India's people. The policy covers elementary education to colleges in both rural and urban India. The first NPE was promulgated in 1968 by the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the second by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. The government of India has appointed a new committee under K. Kasturirangan to prepare a Draft for the new National Education Policy in 2017.[1]


Since the country's independence in 1947, the Indian government sponsored a variety of programmes to address the problems of illiteracy in both rural and urban India. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India's first Minister of Education, envisaged strong central government control over education throughout the country, with a uniform educational system. The Union government established the University Education Commission (1948–1949), the Secondary Education Commission (1952–1953), university Grants Commission and the Kothari Commission (1964–66) to develop proposals to modernise India's education system. The Resolution on Scientific Policy was adopted by the government of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. The Nehru government sponsored the development of high-quality scientific education institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology. In 1961, the Union government formed the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as an autonomous organisation that would advise both the Union and state governments on formulating and implementing education policies.[2]


Based on the report and recommendations of the Kothari Commission (1964–1966), the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi announced the first National Policy on Education in 1968, which called for a "radical restructuring" and equalise educational opportunities in order to achieve national integration and greater cultural and economic development.[3] The policy called for fulfilling compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14, as stipulated by the Constitution of India, and the better training and qualification of teachers.[3] The policy called for focus on learning of regional languages, outlining the "three language formula" to be implemented in secondary education - the instruction of the English language, the official language of the state where the school was based, and Hindi,[3] Language education was seen as essential to reduce the gulf between the intelligentsia and the masses. Although the decision to adopt Hindi as the national language had proven controversial, the policy called for use and learning of Hindi to be encouraged uniformly to promote a common language for all Indians.[3] The policy also encouraged the teaching of the ancient Sanskrit language, which was considered an essential part of India's culture and heritage. The NPE of 1968 called for education spending to increase to six percent of the national income.[4] As of 2013, the NPE 1968 has moved location on the national website.[5]


Having announced that a new policy was in development in January, 1985, the government of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced a new National Policy on Education in May, 1986.[6] The new policy called for "special emphasis on the removal of disparities and to equalise educational opportunity," especially for Indian women, Scheduled Tribes (ST) and the Scheduled Caste (SC) communities.[6] To achieve such a social integration, the policy called for expanding scholarships, adult education, recruiting more teachers from the SCs, incentives for poor families to send their children to school regularly, development of new institutions and providing housing and services.[6] The NPE called for a "child-centred approach" in primary education, and launched "Operation Blackboard" to improve primary schools nationwide.[7] The policy expanded the open university system with the Indira Gandhi National Open University, which had been created in 1985.[7] The policy also called for the creation of the "rural university" model, based on the philosophy of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, to promote economic and social development at the grassroots level in rural India.[7] 1986 education policy expected to spent 6%of GDP on education.


The 1986 National Policy on Education was modified in 1992 by the P.V. Narasimha Rao government.[8] In 2005, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh adopted a new policy based on the "Common Minimum Programme" of his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.[9] Programme of Action (PoA), 1992 under the National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986 envisaged conduct of a common entrance examination on all India basis for admission to professional and technical programmes in the country. For admission to Engineering and Architecture/Planning programmes, Government of India vide Resolution dated 18 October 2001 has laid down a Three – Exam Scheme (JEE and AIEEE at the National Level and the State Level Engineering Entrance Examinations (SLEEE) for State Level Institutions – with an option to join AIEEE). This takes care of varying admission standards in these programmes and helps in maintenance of professional standards. This also solves problems of overlaps and reduces physical, mental and financial burden on students and their parents due to multiplicity of entrance examinations.

Recent Developments[edit]

•Samgra shiksha Abhiyan 2018

See also[edit]

Capitation Fee


  1. ^ National Education Policy
  2. ^ "NCERT" (PDF). National Council of Educational Research and Training. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "National Informatics Centre" (PDF). National Informatics Centre: 38–45. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  4. ^ "National Informatics Centre" (PDF). PDF. National Informatics Centre: 38–45. Retrieved 12 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b c "National Education Policy 1986". National Informatics Centre. pp. 38–45. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  7. ^ a b c "National Education Policy 1986". National Informatics Centre. pp. 38–45. Retrieved 12 July 2009.[dead link]
  8. ^ "National Policy on Education, 1986 (As modified in 1992)" (PDF). HRD Ministry. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  9. ^ "AIEEE". HRD Ministry. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  10. ^ Ministry of Human Resource Development. "Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan". National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan". EdCIL (India) Limited. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Saakshar Bharat". Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  13. ^ Nitin (13 November 2013). "What is Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan (RUSA)?". One India Education. Retrieved 2 February 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • Joshee, Reva (2008). "Citizenship Education in India: From Colonial Subjugation to Radical Possibilities". In James Arthur; Ian Davies; Carole Hahn (eds.). SAGE Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Democracy. SAGE. pp. 175–188. ISBN 1412936209.
  • Nair, Deepa (2009). "Contending `Historical' Identities in India". Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society. 1 (1): 145–164. JSTOR 43049323.