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HRD to miss new education policy draft deadline

In a major setback to Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani, the education policy drafting committee has sought two more months for submitting the report of final draft. The HRD Minister had in September this year claimed that the first draft of the NEP would be ready by December-end this year.

According officials in HRD Ministry, the five-member panel, which is headed by former cabinet secretary TS Subramanian, has asked the ministry to extend the time of submitting final draft till February end as consultation with states has not yet been completed. In an official note, which is under observation of HRD Minister Irani, the panel has reportedly said, “As the consultation process with some of the states and institutions has not yet happened, it won’t be possible to complete the draft by December end.”

Irani had in September said, “The visit to states will continue till the October end as I’ve set the target to bring the draft of new education bill by December. The ministry is getting suggestions from different stakeholders and the process to scrutinize theme would begin soon.”

The Subramanian panel has also apprised the minister that the consultation process with different stakeholders would be completed by January end and if all goes as per the plan, the draft would be ready by February end in 2016. There is a buzz in the ministry that even Subramanian panel submits its final draft as per the plan, it won’t be possible to implement the policy in next academic session.

Interestingly, the five-member committee has four bureaucrats and only one academician as JS Rajput, the former NCERT Director. 

The other members of the panel, who have been entrusted with the responsibility of drafting the country’s third national education policy since Independence, include Shailaja Chandra, former chief secretary of Delhi government, Sudhir Mankad, former chief secretary of Gujarat, Sewaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, Delhi government.
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