ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Education Policy and the Continuing Contentions

A critical reading of the Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy underscores the continuing contentions in India. The article analyses these contentions in terms of how systemic misadventures are collaterally damaging the existing complexities of education in the present-day choice discourse in the country.

India’s education policy ideals have historically been “instrumentalist” in nature. This is evident in terms of the ministerial confidence to treat education as human resource development over the years. This resource-based economistic mis/understanding has neither been questioned nor even widely debated so far. Consequently, “national policies on education have been shaped by the political and economic contexts within which they were formulated and these in turn defined the espousal of specific policy goals” (Dewan and Mehendale 2015: 16).

In the light of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led cultural nationalists being in power, the Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy (Subramanian committee report), chaired by T S R Subramanian, has done the job of what is “expected” at present. Theoretically, the prescriptions are functionalist in nature. Against this backdrop, it is essential to understand that the policy process has predominantly been a bureaucratic exercise, hierarchically controlled by the ruling political elite in India. This is further complicated by external influences of socio-economic policies.

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