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NEP misses knowledge expansion goals: Cong

New Delhi: Hitting out at the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Sunday said that the new National Education Policy (NEP) has missed the fundamental goal of human resource development and expansion of knowledge.

"The policy is high on "catchwords" and "verbosity" but lacks critical finances and a coherent roadmap for implementation. The policy has circumvented parliamentary oversight and there has been no discussion with the academia, except the RSS," said former HRD Minister MM Pallam Raju while addressing a press conference, along with Randeep Surjewala and Rajeev Gowda. The Congress leaders said that the NEP seeks to create a digital divide between the poor and the rich as it promotes privatisation of public education and "this will lead to it going out of reach of the middle class and the disadvantaged in the society".

They also questioned the government's intent in raising spending on education to 6 per cent of the GDP, saying the same has fallen from 4.14 per cent of GDP in 2014 to 3.2 per cent currently under the Modi government and is likely to fall further due to cuts in outlays on account of resource crunch due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The National Education Policy 2020, which aimed to pave the way for transformational reforms in school and higher education, is high on catchwords, gloss, appearance and verbosity yet lacks a coherent implementational roadmap and strategy, clearly defined milestones and the critical finances necessary to execute this grand vision," they said in a joint statement.

The Congress leaders further said that the timing of NEP in the middle of a pandemic when all educational institutions are closed is, in itself, questionable. More so when almost the entire academia has complained of no consultation, the leaders alleged.

"On a policy that impacts and affects our present and future generations, even

parliamentary oversight has been circumvented. Contrast this with the rigorous parliamentary and widespread consultation that preceded the Right to Education Act," they said.

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