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National Education Policy 2020 – A Student Guide

by Team Goseeko

On July 29th, 2020 the Government of India launched the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The policy proposes wide-ranging changes to India’s education system. This is the India’s third NEP, the previous two being in 1968 and 1986.

Being a student, you might feel a sense of uncertainty regarding education right now. You might have questions about how this policy will affect you, or how it is different than the current system. This article will help you understand the NEP 2020 and how the education system will work in the coming years.

Multiple-Exit Options

The National Education Policy is changing the structure of undergraduate education in India. Undergraduate degrees will now be of four years. On completion of each year students are eligible for the following –

  • One-Year – Student receive an education certificate
  • Two-Years – Student receives a diploma
  • Three-Years – Student receives a bachelor’s degree
  • Four-Years – Students can complete an optional year by undertaking rigorous research in their chosen discipline

These multi-exit options help to overcome a major barrier of completing undergraduate education. Every year lakhs of students across India drop out of college. One of the common reasons being financial difficulty. Previously, if a student dropped out anytime before they completed all three years of their degree, they would have to start fresh to complete it.

For a student who drops out of a university for being unable to pay for their expenses, expecting them to restart their degree from the again is an impossible expectation.

Under the new NEP, even if they are not able to complete the full duration of their course they still receive a diploma or certificate. Additionally, when a student decides to restart their education, they are eligible to enroll directly into the next year from where they left.

For example Rahul enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in science at a college in Mumbai. He completes two years and receives a diploma. Due to personal reasons, he is unable to enroll for the third year. A year later, Rahul wants to continue his degree. Under the new NEP, he can directly enroll for the third year instead of starting from year one.

Course Selection

The new NEP aims to provide multidisciplinary education to students. Students can select a major and minor subject in their undergrad. These subjects can be in different disciplines. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of major and minors, here’s how it works –

  • Major – It is the main field of focus for a student during their degree
  • Minor –  It is a secondary field of focus that compliments the student’s major

Still confused? This example should make it clear for you –

Neha wants to pursue a degree in Economics from a university in Bihar. Her major will be economics. But along with economics, Neha’s interest also includes drawing. She decides to add Fine Arts minor to her degree.

Throughout the four-year undergraduate degree Neha will take 40 classes. 30 of those classes will focus on subjects relating to her major (Economics). The rest of the 10 classes will revolve around her minor (Fine Arts).

Focusing on just one field for four continuous years can be difficult for students. View the minor as a chance to pursue something that interests you. You can choose a field that complements your major.

For example – Having a major in Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. Furthermore, you can even choose to pursue a minor which is something you like as a hobby. Like majoring in Engineering while selecting Music as a minor.

The Grading System Will Change Under The New Education Policy

Students will be awarded credits for the courses they complete. Credits are points that a student receives for completing each course. Let’s say in order to receive a bachelor’s degree a student needs to complete 120 credits. Each course a student takes is worth 3 credits. They will need to complete 40 courses to earn their degree.

The credit system is also something that you might be unfamiliar with. But it will prove to be beneficial for students.

The government aims to have a common credit system for all colleges in the country. It would not be wrong to expect that credits could be transferred from one college to another. Hence students could enrol in a new college in a different state or area to complete their education if needed.

In a nutshell, the National Education Policy 2020 makes it easier for students to earn educational qualifications and have the freedom to choose when and how to complete their education.

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