In Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah lauding the New Education Policy (NEP) at two different events on the same day are an indication of the importance being attached to the successful rollout of the policy in the home state of the two leaders.
At a virtual address on December 24 for the 75th ‘Amrut Mahotsav’ of the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Sansthan, Modi said the NEP would create a “forward-looking and futuristic education system”.
Union Minister Amit Shah, who was addressing a school event in Mehsana the same day, said the new policy will help develop children’s ability to analyse, think and research, and hence take the country forward.
Admitting the thrust on the education policy, Bhikhabhai Patel, the president of RSS-affiliated Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh-Gujarat said “There were only three meetings on the implementation of the NEP under the previous Bhupendra Patel government, while one has already been held under the chairmanship of the new government (sworn in on December 12).”
During the election campaign, Modi had highlighted the Gujarat government’s education initiatives, including the 2003 Kanya Kelavni and Shala Praveshotsav campaigns started under his time as CM, and had even met girls enrolled in schools as part of the initiative.
In a move set to smoothen the introduction of the NEP in the state, one of the initiatives that sought replacement of elected members of the syndicate and senate at universities with a board of governors has been put off from ‘immediate’ to ‘long term’ action plan.
“With things settled now, all the pending education projects and schemes keeping in mind the NEP are back on the government’s priority,” a senior government official said.
The very first Cabinet meeting saw the start of work on including the Bhagwad Gita in the school syllabus, under the NEP’s Indian Knowledge System. Sources said the next big move could be on ‘Residential Schools of Excellence’, which have remained on paper despite selection of over 70 applicants for them after rigorous scrutiny.