Daily Editorial Analysis for 28th July 2021

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National Education Policy-2020: A Year-Old Crawling Baby

Why in News

  • The late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, once opined that the aim of education is to build character, cultivate human values, develop scientific attitude with spiritual foundation, build confidence to face uncertain future, and to develop a sense of dignity, self-respect, and self-reliance.
  • India’s learning system needed urgent reforms to inculcate these attributes in our youth and to develop global competencies to make them socially and economically relevant and finally, to capitalize on the geographic dividend.
  • For this to happen, education system should be able to train human agency with quality nutrients to the body, mind and soul and should be able to promote the spirit of universal brotherhood and to enrich other aspects of human agency for taking civilizational discourse to higher pedestals.
  • It is in this context that all transformational reforms enshrined in National Education Policy (NEP-2020), which becomes all the more important to implement with.
  • NEP-2020 is not merely a document, but commitment on the part of Government of India for Nation building through reformed education ecosystem.

National Education Policy (NEP-2020)

  • Student centric NEP-2020 provides for creating lifelong learning knowledge society based on the premise of equal, affordable and wider learning opportunities.
  • Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) will enable students to opt for diverse courses and institutions, through digitally storing the academic credits earned from recognized institutions and facilitate the award of degrees upon earning and accumulating credits required for completion of the program.
  • Multiple Entry and Multiple Exit options:
  • Multiple Entry and Multiple Exit options will meet learning needs of diverse group of learners. Multi-disciplinary curricular framework with strong skill development components will provide an opportunity for contextualized holistic rather than compartmentalized and decontextualized learning eco-system.
  • In order to make learning joyful, and to develop higher order thinking capabilities, an emphasis has been laid on experiential learning pedagogies, viz., discussion/debate/disputation, demonstration, activity, project/dissertation/internship/case study and excursion based collaborative learning, and flip- and other modes of blended pedagogical approach.
  • Graduate Attributes (GA)/learning
  • Graduate Attributes (GA)/learning outcomes will ensure qualities, skills and understandings that students need to develop while pursuing studies for certification of the degrees.
  • These attributes will help develop competencies beyond the scope of textbooks and class-rooms. These will empower the graduates to become globalised citizens, and effective members of the knowledge society capable of improving the socio-economic conditions of the Nation.
  • The policy also emphasises on developing appropriate assessment tools for measuring the learning outcomes.
  • Through National Language Translation Mission envisaged for knowledge sharing between Indian languages, the governance-and-policy related knowledge, as well as the traditional knowledge preserved in various languages, will be made available on the internet in Major Indian Languages. This will certainly promote the sense of nationalism.
  • Transformational reforms:
  • Transformational reforms envisioned in NEP-2020 cannot be implemented without the use of technology.
  • Teachers and students alike should be empowered to use technology in teaching-learning.
  • For ushering in the era of trans-disciplinarity, paradigm cultural and moral shift is needed.
  • Enhanced interaction amongst academia, industry and labs by National Research Foundation is necessary.
  • Institutional thrust areas of research will now revolve around SDGs and local and regional needs for promoting ‘Vocal for Local’ concept.
  • All these make NEP-2020 cable enough to inculcate entrepreneurial and agile thinking, adaptive leadership styles, resilience, interpersonal and communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving, digital dexterity and global operating skills and adapt them to real life scenarios as it emphasises on real life-long learning and on how to learn rather than on what to learn-necessary attribute of learning in globalised environment.
  • Tight but light, dynamic and flexible regulatory regime, and facilitative umbrella implementation plan is the need of the hour for translating NEP-2020 to the ground realities.
  • Prime Minister Office, Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission have really burnt mid-night oil for taking the NEP-2020 to the door steps of the stake-holder including civil society through several rounds of National workshops.
  • Ministry of Education and UGC have made sincere efforts in drawing detailed implementation plan in respect of nine key-areas of the policy, viz., multi-disciplinary and holistic education; equity and inclusion in higher education; research, innovations and rankings;  global outreach of higher education; motivated, energised and capable faculty; integrated higher education system; governance and regulation; promotion of Indian knowledge system, languages, culture and values; and technology use and integration.

Teacher’s role in NEP-2020

  • Teachers’ role becomes crucial in implementation of NEP-2020. In order to successfully implement it, they must be capable enough to adapt and embrace the evolving discourse of education.
  • They should be able to infuse course contents with newer and refreshing ideas, should provide enough time for learners beyond the classroom, engage them in meaningful discourses concerning all aspects of education and help them in finding solutions.
  • Teachers should be able to convert static learning spaces into active learning sites resorting to personalised/flip/adventure/cooperative/peer/service/situated/free-choice, contextual, integrative and reflective and action-oriented teaching.
  • Successful implementation also depends on the cooperation from edu-administrators, student community, parents, civil society and the media.


  • In essence, NEP-2020 is supportive, caring, trusting and aims to develop links between well-being of humanity and academic and moral excellence.
  • NEP-2020 is fully equipped to realise national aspirations.
  • If a year-old crawling baby is carefully nurtured to youthhood in right context and intent, enshrined transformational reforms will prepare Bharat Centric youth capable of recapturing the lost glory of ancient Education System and repositioning Bharat as the Vishwa Guru.
  • Let us rally behind the clarion call of our Hon’ble Prime Minister for making ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ though reformed learning eco-system.  


Strengthening steel

Why in News

  • The Centre’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for steel has been a long time coming, but it appears to be both well timed and well thought-out.

India in steel production

  • Nowadays, India’s leading integrated steel players are in good enough financial shape to dust off their long pending capex plans.
  • After an extended down­cycle where the sector’s profitability was battered by poor prices, overcapacity and excessive debt, India’s large integrated steel players have emerged stronger this past year after trimming debt and acquiring facilities from weaker players under bankruptcy proceedings.
  • A fortuitous upturn in the global steel cycle and India’s demand holding up despite Covid, have bolstered capacity utilisation for the large players.
  • Ratings agency CRISIL estimates that armed with operating profit margins of 32­33 per cent this fiscal, large players are likely to double their planned capex in the next 3­4 years.

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme

  • Rather than hand out blanket subsidies for a commoditised product, the Centre has targeted its PLIs at very specific grades of specialty steel with heavy import dependence.
  • Specialty steel today makes up 4 million tonnes of India’s 6.7 million tonne steel imports and just 8% of domestic steel capacity is dedicated to it.
  • By offering incentives worth just ₹6,322 crore, the Centre hopes to induce capex of ₹40,000 crore and output of ₹2.5­lakh crore.
  • In designing the scheme, the Centre has taken cues from its other PLI experiments. Allowing existing players to avail themselves of PLIs for brownfield capacities is a pragmatic move to get the facilities up and running quickly. So is the flexibility allowed to companies to defer their initial targets by up to two years to deal with project setbacks.
  • Given the poor financials of most secondary steel producers, it is possible that the PLIs will be cornered by a few large integrated players. But this would be not be a bad thing for scale economies and global competitiveness. So, the Centre should look to relax the per­player PLI cap of ₹200 crore per year, should the need arise.

Way Forward

  • Policymakers do need to bear in mind though that sales­based monetary incentives do not really help investors surmount land acquisition controversies or environmental concerns that have left many a project stillborn.
  • They may need to smooth the road on this score. Banks, having burnt their fingers in this sector, are also likely to be wary of funding new capex at this juncture.
  • To ensure ample funding, the Centre may thus need to expedite its DFI (development financial institution) idea or consider a specialised funding agency for steel on the lines of PFC for power projects.
  • Steel­makers, on their part, need to reduce their import dependence for raw materials and ruthlessly prune costs so that when the PLIs run out, their specialty steel facilities stand on their own feet.


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