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4th deadline for BJP's education policy over

BJP, in its manifesto, had promised a new education policy as the existing one is nearly three decades old
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar had set up an eight-member panel to prepare the policy in 2017.

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 31.10.18, 09:20 PM

A committee the government had set up last year to prepare a National Education Policy (NEP) has so far worked out what two members called a “zero draft” that is yet to be submitted although the panel’s fourth extension ended on Wednesday.

A zero draft means more fine-tuning is needed, a committee member explained.

Going by the pace, certain academics have raised doubts whether the draft can be finalised before the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled in the summer of 2019.

The BJP, in its manifesto for the 2014 elections, had promised to bring a new education policy since the existing one is nearly three decades old.

In June 2017, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar had set up an eight-member panel headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation chief K. Kasturirangan to prepare the policy within six months.

In August this year, the panel was given a fourth extension till October 31.

But the panel failed to submit the document. Two panel members said the committee had prepared a “zero draft”, which would be submitted when the minister gives time.

“The chairperson of the committee has asked for time from the minister to hand over the zero draft. It will be submitted when he gives time,” a member said.

“Zero draft means it is not the final draft. Some fine-tuning is required,” the member said.

Another member said all consultations were over.

Nandita Narain, a teacher at St. Stephen’s College, doubted if the document would be finalised before the elections.

“The government had set up one committee under T.R.S. Subramanian. Their report was not accepted. The second committee is yet to give its report. It seems the government cannot finalise the report before the elections,” Narain said.

A government official cited the model code of conduct in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in several states as a possible reason for the government delaying the process of preparing the policy.

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