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NEP Must Be Repealed After Making Necessary Preparations: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, a core project of the BJP-led national government, would be phased out of higher education institutions in Karnataka beginning with the next academic year, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah declared on Monday.

Siddaramaiah stated during a meeting at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office that the NEP, which was established by the previous BJP government in the state, will be completely scrapped beginning with the next academic year. The policy will be in place for the remainder of the current academic year.

Before eliminating the NEP, Siddaramaiah stated that thorough planning is required. He underlined that, due to time restrictions, NEP would continue this academic year so that students’ regular academic activities are not disrupted.

“The NEP must be repealed after making the necessary preparations.” This year, there was no time for planning. The academic year had already begun by the time the election results were announced and the administration was formed. “NEP will be continued this year because it should not cause problems for students in the middle of an academic year,” Siddaramaiah said.

The chief minister voiced significant opposition to the NEP, stating that it has encountered opposition from a variety of stakeholders, including students, parents, lecturers, and teachers. He chastised the previous BJP government for implementing NEP in the state but not nationally, alleging that the policy jeopardised students’ interests.

Karnataka was the first state to implement NEP in higher education institutions, with the previous state BJP government introducing it in 2021. However, as part of its pre-election promises, the Congress party promised to repeal NEP if elected. The Congress also mocked the concept as the ‘Nagpur Education concept,’ alluding to the RSS’s headquarters.

Vice Chancellors of public universities had expressed concerns about the practical difficulties of implementing certain policy measures. There were also concerns voiced about the availability of trained teachers to offer multidisciplinary courses and open elective areas under the NEP.

On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar stated that the administration plans to develop a new education policy that is consistent with its goal.

Shivakumar underlined the importance of having a clear and comprehensive conversation about the NEP’s ramifications.

Siddaramaiah, the chief minister, has accused NEP of instilling divisive beliefs among pupils. Shivakumar claimed that NEP infringes on the state’s prerogatives, emphasising the government’s claim that it violates the state’s rights in the field of education.

“A committee led by UR Rao was formed, and all states gave their approval.” After that, a task force was constituted before implementation, and it was subsequently implemented in higher and primary education,” he stated, responding to criticism of the NEP.

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