India’s National New Education Policy 2020

The Government of India recently announced some major changes in the education policy field that will positively impact the way our children will learn and gain knowledge that they can practically use later in life.

These changes, though late in being implemented will now usher a new dawn in the lives of our children and given them more flexibility in their study choices, while motivating them to give their best.

India’s National New Education Policy 2020, which you can download from our website aims to do away with the traditional 10 + 2 education system and instead aims to bring in a more structured approach right from the pre-school stage itself through a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 structure.

The Gurukul Tutor shares some insights into this policy and what it really means for you and your children.

The key changes that are a part of the new policy are;

  • Setting up of a single regulator for all Higher Education Institutions
  • Students have the option of multiple entry and exit options for degree courses
  • Discontinuation of all the MPhil programmes
  • Common entrance exams for all Universities
  • Flexibility in choosing different subjects

Pre-Schooling Included as a part of the main education system

The New Education Policy now also includes all pre-school education and makes it more accountable, something that many parents have been demanding for years, due to the growth of many spurious institutes which had no professional qualifications for conducting these classes.

The new education system will now have 12 years of schooling with three years of pre-schooling included in it. The new 5+3+3+4 education structure will apply to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years.

Mother tongue as medium of instruction

There will be a renewed focus on having the students’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction an option. The ‘three language formula’ will also exist. Under the policy, no language will be imposed on anyone. The NEP only recommends the mother tongue as a medium of instruction and does not make it compulsory.


Higher Education Commission of India(HECI) will be set up as a single overarching umbrella body for entire higher education, excluding medical and legal education. Public and private higher education institutions will be governed by the same set of norms for regulation, accreditation, and academic standards.

Govt will phase out the affiliation of colleges in 15 years and a stage-wise mechanism is to be established for granting graded autonomy to colleges.

Flexibility for Students

Students will now have the flexibility to choose between different subjects from arts, commerce, and science streams, between curricular and extra-curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams.

This essentially means that students can now select subjects as per their preferences no matter which stream it is from, so a student could actually select Biology and Accounts if he actually wants and is interested in both of them. Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade and will include internships.

Certificate, Diploma & Degree Options

As per the new policy, an undergraduate degree will be of either 3 or 4-year duration with multiple exit options within this period. Colleges can issue a certificate after a student completes 1 year in a discipline or field including vocational and professional areas, a diploma after 2 years of study, or a Bachelor’s degree after a 3-year program.

Govt will also establish an Academic Bank of Credit for digitally storing academic credits earned from different HEIs so that these can be transferred and counted towards the final degree earned.

Download a copy of the New Education Policy 2020

New Education Policy of School Education

  • The “10 + 2” structure will be replaced with “5+3+3+4” model. This will be implemented as follows:
    • Foundational Stage: This is further subdivided into two parts: 3 years of preschool or anganwadi, followed by classes 1 and 2 in primary school. This will cover children of ages 3-8 years. The focus of studies will be in activity-based learning.
    • Preparatory Stage: Classes 3 to 5, which will cover the ages of 8-11 years. It will gradually introduce subjects like speaking, reading, writing, physical education, languages, art, science and mathematics.
    • Middle Stage: Classes 6 to 8, covering children between ages 11 and 14. It will introduce students to the more abstract concepts in subjects of mathematics, sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.
    • Secondary Stage: Classes 9 to 12, covering the ages of 14-19 years. It is again subdivided into two parts: classes 9 and 10 covering the first phase while classes 11 and 12 covering the second phase. These 4 years of study are intended to inculcate multidisciplinary study, coupled with depth and critical thinking. Multiple options of subjects will be provided.
  • Instead of exams being held every academic year, school students will only attend three exams, in classes 2, 5 and 8.
  • The Midday Meal Scheme will be extended to include breakfasts. More focus will be given to students’ health, particularly mental health, through the deployment of counsellors and social workers.

New Education Policy of Higher Education

  • It proposes a 4-year multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree in an undergraduate programme with multiple exit options. These will include professional and vocational areas and will be implemented as follows:
    • A certificate after completing 1 year of study
    • A diploma after completing 2 years of study
    • A Bachelor’s degree after completion of a 3-year programme
    • A 4-year multidisciplinary Bachelor’s degree (the preferred option)
  • The policy proposes to internationalize education in India. Foreign universities can now set up campuses in India.
  • The fees of both private and public universities will be fixed.