Abstract: The mandate for the National Education Policy drafting committee was to create a policy applicable for at least the next 20 years. Thus, the policy had to be pragmatic enough to be implementable, specific enough to address well-known challenges in the education system, and flexible enough to address future issues. This talk will discuss six key themes of the policy in response to these demands. The first theme is a major rethink of primary and school education, with four developmentally appropriate stages to replace the "10+2" structure. The second theme, also in the context of school education, is long-overdue effort targeted at ensuring basic educational outcomes: foundational literacy and numeracy. The third and fourth themes cut across both school and higher education: providing multidisciplinary exposure (including integrated vocational education) to prepare students to use their full human capacities, and promoting low-stakes formative assessment to facilitate deeper learning (as opposed to high-stakes examinations that promote memorization and executing simple procedures). The fifth theme is the creation of a National Research Foundation to address the issue of sub-standard research at the postgraduate level. Finally, the sixth theme is a redesign of the present structures for regulation and oversight to ensure greater efficiency, transparency, autonomy and accountability.
About the Speaker: Dr K. Kasturirangan is currently Chairman, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Chancellor, Central University of Rajasthan, Chairman, Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore, Chairman, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, Member, Atomic Energy Commission, an Emeritus Professor at the NIAS, Bengaluru, and Honorary Distinguished Advisor, ISRO. Earlier, as Chairman of ISRO, he oversaw the space programme of India between the years 1994 and 2003. He was a Member, Rajya Sabha (2003-2009) and concurrently the Director of NIAS, Bengaluru and subsequently, Member of the erstwhile Planning Commission. Dr Kasturirangan was also the Chairman of the Committee entrusted with drafting the new National Education Policy (July 2017-December 2018). His interests include astrophysics, space science and technology as well as science related policies.