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Eeshna Dashottar, Pune

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar announced on Monday that the National Education Policy (NEP) should not be practised in Karnataka and will be replaced by an alternative education system curated for the state.

The announcements by the Deputy CM were made post a meeting with vice-chancellors and Karnataka’s Primary and Higher Education Ministers. Shivakumar released the official statements at a press conference held in the administrative headquarters in Bengaluru. The Deputy CM spoke about the government’s plans for the new state education policy to bring ‘quality education’ for students. Elaborating on this announcement, Shivakumar explained to India Today that the state government had made final plans to remove NEP from the state. He stated that Education is a state matter, and so along with the concerned ministers, a committee would soon come in place to bring this change.  

Karnataka was one of the first states to implement NEP’s provisions in their higher education sphere. As also mentioned in their election manifesto, the current Congress government was keen on removing NEP from Karnataka, which they are now beginning to work upon. Karnataka’s Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also stated that NEP must be scrapped and preparations for replacement should be made soon, which couldn’t be achieved this year.

Highlighting the strong association of the state with quality education and knowledge centre, Deputy CM Shivakumar elaborated on the state education policy that will be curated based on Karnataka’s special educational necessities. Higher Education Minister Dr. MC Sudhakar spoke about this matter. He stated to Indian Express, “We do not want to disturb the existing education framework and impact the transition of students from one year to another. In fact, as per our assessment and feedback from colleges, there are very few takers for the four-year honours program. Most of them prefer to quit at the end of the third year. I would also like to clarify that a four-year honours program is an option and not mandatory as per the NEP.” 

In practice, the existing framework would continue for this academic year, and students studying under the NEP guidelines will finish their third year of college under the same provisions. Meanwhile, active preparations for changes in the next academic year would be worked on by the committee for the new policy, the composition of which still needs to be specified.