Govt to unveil new education policy in December

Govt to unveil new education policy in December
A new education policy to "correct" the education system, which follows a "colonial" mindset, will be brought out in December, said Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Satya Pal Singh, on Monday.

He said threadbare discussions were held on the new policy, which is in its final stages.

After Independence, most academicians, unfortunately, followed the footsteps of the British and western scholars and "deliberately" denigrated Indian culture, he said.

The minister said the biggest challenge facing the education system and government was how to "decolonise" the Indian mind, and added that the nation has to keep pace with the world in this field.

Some issues to be addressed include improving the quality of education at the primary level, making higher education affordable and ensuring more people have access to education, the minister said after inaugurating the National Academic meet here.

Skill development is a major area on which the government has given thrust. But more has to be done on this, Singh said.

To prevent students from going abroad for education, the minister said higher education institutions matching the standards of centres of international excellence should be developed.

The minister said accessibility to higher education in India was only 25.6% while it was 86% in the US, 80% in Germany and 60% in China.

"The aim is to improve the higher education system in the country to make it available to more," he said.

Singh said the challenge before the government was to remove social and regional disparities in students having access to higher education and to make it affordable to all.

"In some places, access to higher education is as low as 9% but in others, it is 60% ...higher education is very expensive and has to be made more affordable to all sections of the society," he said.

Singh also pointed out that 50% of the teacher posts were lying vacant in universities. "In Delhi University, there are 4,000 vacancies,"

Singh said though India produces 30,000 to 40,000 PhDs every year, the nation's contribution to the world economy was only 0.2% and added that a lot of improvement has to be brought about in research and development.

He said changes are necessary for the Right to Education Act as the law "lacked teeth".

"The Act provides the right to compulsory primary education. But what is the remedy if parents do not send their children to school? So many things have to be done to improve primary education in the country," Singh said.

'Paika rebellion to be first War of Independence'

The 'Paika Bidroha' (Paika rebellion) of 1817 will find a place in the history books as "the First War of Independence" from the next academic session, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday, reports PTI from Bhubaneswar.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had, in a letter to the Centre, urged that it should recognise 'Paika Bidroha' as the First War of Independence against the British rule as it took place four decades before the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
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