National Education Policy 2020: What Does It Mean for Students?


On Wednesday, 29th July, the government of India replaced the 1986 national policy education with NEP 2020, making sweeping changes in the education system. Schools and higher institutions will have to restructure their admission policy, course modules, and examination pattern to work according to this policy. This blog will do a detailed analysis of how the National Education Policy 2020 can impact future generations.

What Is The Purpose of NEP 2020?

For a long time, the education system in India has been criticized due to its rigidity, lack of vision, and a vast syllabus. Unlike the West, students in India were not allowed to choose electives based on their interests. Moreover, during the board exams, the curriculum put unnecessary stress on the students, which the government was pointing out for quite some time. 

In 2018, the CBSE board, in an attempt to reduce students’ workload, notified that students up to class 10 should not carry a bag more than 5kg and should not carry heavy books and other irrelevant materials. After this, they made class 12 optional to see the reaction of students, which was also another attempt to reduce mental stress. 

The new policy will relieve millions of students of their daily academic pressure and they can now choose what to learn.

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What Are The Changes in The New Policy?

5+3+3+4 Policy

In the National Education Policy, a student will have to go through 3 years of pre-schooling between the age of 3-8years. Then they will have a preparatory stage for experimental learning between 8-11 years (class 3-5). The middle school will comprise students of 11-14 years for grades 6-8 and, finally, the secondary stage will be of 4 years (classes 9-12). They can choose any set of subjects based on their choice (e.g., Physics+Sociology+Economics ) and enhance their critical ability to think and work harder on innovative ideas as compared to rote learning.

Mother Tongue as A Medium of Instruction

In continuation of the three language formula, the National education policy encourages learning in the mother tongue wherever possible, at least till class 5. It can be a local/regional language along with two other Indian languages, where English will not be considered one. This has been a debate of contention between the centre and states for quite some time.

The controversial issue of Hindi imposition on the southern states has often resulted in large scale protests. However, in this new policy, students are free to decide on the subjects they want to study. Experts have opined that any attempt to reduce the importance of English will severely impact the future of a child. 


Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) will be set up as a single body covering all higher education regulations, excluding medical and legal education. Instead of multiple agencies like UGC and AICTE, the HECI will frame all rules and regulations, give accreditation to universities and set academic standards. 

Cross-Functional Streams

There will be no separate science, arts, commerce streams for students and they will be able to choose subjects as per their preference. There will be no classifications for extra-curricular activities, vocational courses and internships will start from as early as class 6. This was a long term demand and will increase flexibility among the classrooms, even though the implementation remains a challenge.

FYUP Program

The four-year undergraduate program (FYUP) makes a comeback and students can learn and gain industrial experience during this period. Multiple exit options will be available and vocational certificates should be awarded within 1 year of study, 2 years for diploma and 3 years for a bachelor’s program. No students will have to drop out and switching courses will be allowed with a credit transfer policy. 

Implementation Challenges And Criticism

The new system essentially means that colleges will have more autonomy in framing the syllabus, giving their students choices and setting up the curriculum. Still, at the same time, they need to be extremely flexible. When we talk of credit transfer in switching courses, how many students can do it? How will you reschedule the routine? What will the final year mark sheet look like? Several such questions have arisen already, and many autonomous universities have asked the government to provide a detailed guideline. If we think about schools, students can select any subject; what if the school doesn’t have a tutor for it? Will they bring in a part-time tutor?These and many other questions are cropping up. Apart from these criticisms due to the abolition of the MPhil course and lack of mention about reservation policies were also pointed out. In a country where the socio-economic differences have been huge, teachers and parents are asking for more clarity on these areas. Even the absence of cultural/gender/caste studies have made many people sceptical about the move.

Additionally, this policy is believed to be another step towards the massive privatisation of the education system. 

What Next?

The government is not going to implement this policy in a hurry. They have decided to implement one criterion at a time and slowly transform the system by 2040. Students need not panic; they will have enough time to get accustomed to the changes. Currently, the important thing would be to study and finish your syllabuses early. 

The new policy has also encouraged vocational learning, which is going to boost online education in a big way. At a time, when all academic institutions are already closed the new policy will change education from a thing of privilege to an accessible resource for all.

When we think about learning online, MyFavTutor is a name that comes to our mind instantly. The platform  has a diverse list of tutors from all backgrounds. They are playing a significant role in bringing students from urban, semi-urban and rural India to experience the digital revolution in academics. If you are one of those looking to get quality learning, do join our portal and start learning anything you like

As we have discussed, the national education policy will let you choose subjects that you enjoy, so this will be an excellent chance for you to start early, study things that you like and enjoy the learning process.

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