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  India   All India  01 May 2018  Friction in BJP over plan to saffronise education policy

Friction in BJP over plan to saffronise education policy

THE ASIAN AGE. | NITIN MAHAJAN
Published : May 1, 2018, 1:18 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2018, 1:18 am IST

The committee is expected to suggest ways to make Indian education contemporary and of better quality.

(Representational image)
 (Representational image)

New Delhi: As the Narendra Modi government enters the final leg of its five-year term, the much-anticipated new National Education Policy (NEP) is yet to see the light of day. The new policy, originally expected in 2016, may not be formulated before the general elections next year, sources said.

“Even if the policy is formulated before the elections, there is no way the government can implement it properly,” a senior human resource development (HRD) ministry official said.

 

While the ministry is maintaining a stoic silence over the reasons for the delay in NEP, sources revealed that simmering differences have cropped up within the BJP over possible tilt towards “saffronisation” of the proposed education policy.

The term of the government-appointed K. Kasturirangan committee, tasked to draft the new policy, has been extended, yet again, as it intends to hold fresh consultations with stakeholders, including MPs, educational institutes, academia and Sangh affiliates, sources said.

The committee, headed by former Isro chief Kasturirangan, was set up in June last year and mandated to submit its report in December 2017, but it failed to do so. It was earlier given an extension of three months till March 2018.

 

The committee is expected to suggest ways to make Indian education contemporary and of better quality. It is also expected to make suggestions on how to internationalise Indian education and give a roadmap for the entry of foreign universities. The last education policy was formulated in 1986 during the Congress regime.

With a comfortable majority at the Centre, the Narendra Modi government and its ideological mentor, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), were seemingly keen on implementing the new NEP before the 2019 elections to leave their mark on the education sector.

However, the delay in the formulation of the policy is bothering saffron leaders who claim that there would be less than adequate time left before the 2019 polls for successfully implementing the NEP.

 

While HRD ministry sources confirmed that the NEP has been delayed, minister Prakash Javadekar has repeatedly claimed that the policy will be formulated soon. A similar claim was made by Mr Javadekar at an event in Madhya Pradesh last week.

An earlier draft NEP prepared by a panel headed by T.S.R. Subramanian during the tenure of former HRD minister Smriti Irani is now effectively in cold storage.

Tags: narendra modi government, national education policy, rashtriya swayamsewak sangh