“NEP 2020 will prove to be the base of a self-reliant India and help us achieve the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat in the true sense,” said Pokhriyal while addressing an ASSOCHAM webinar on ‘NEP 2020 – The Brighter Future of Education.’
“Perhaps it is the first such policy in the world which saw such huge consultations with over 1,000 universities, 45,000 degree colleges, 15 lakh schools, 1 crore teachers and professors along with 33 crore students and their parents, politicians, state governments and their education ministers, chief ministers, parliamentarians and industry bodies and we incorporated most of the 2.25 lakh suggestions we had received from across the country and we are happy that the policy has been wholeheartedly accepted,” he said.
“Today about 8-10 countries have contacted us with their education ministers showcasing the willingness to implement India’s New Education Policy in their countries,” he confided.
The minister however lamented that some people are arguing that to make progress on international level one needs to learn English. “I must say we are not against English but mother tongue as a medium of education would help strengthen Indian languages.”
He also said that the government does not intend to impose any language on any state. “We are in favour of strengthening 22 Indian languages and we want to promote all of these languages,” said Dr Pokhriyal.
“People need to understand that English is not an Indian language and I would like to tell those people who argue that if we do not learn English we cannot progress on a global level, we need to look at countries like Japan, Russia, Israel, France, USA that all provide education in their language,” he said.
The Minister said that such people should understand this point and do soul searching to analyse within themselves as to whether their argument is genuine.
Highlighting that the policy also proposes vocational education, with internships, for students, he said that some people have tried to give their own logic on this front as well.
“We aim to promote skill development among our students and the policy will help usher in coordination between industry’s requirement and our education system. The NEP will help our students in learning work readiness skills, soft skills, technical skills, and entrepreneurial skills,” said Pokhriyal.
The NEP 2020 will help India regain the title of ‘vishwa guru’ (world leader) and help transform our institutions to regain former glory of our ancient universities like Takshila, Nalanda, and spread knowledge, science, research, and India’s ancient traditions among students globally.
“With the NEP 2020 India will emerge as an education power centre and the ministry has been working on several fronts to achieve this goal together with promoting the country’s heritage to attract students from across the world,” he said.
The NEP 2020 would lead to increase in scientific research, future growth, capacity building and nation-building. While India is still lacking in terms of research, innovation and patent aspects it would get a boost through setting up of the National Research Foundation.