New Delhi: Newly-inducted Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Friday said his top priority is the implementation of the new National Education Policy (NEP).
Pradhan’s predecessor Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had released the policy and initiated its implementation during his two-year stint at the helm.
Speaking to reporters Friday, a day after he took charge of skill development and education ministries, Pradhan also said skill development and education should be treated as one subject and should be worked upon accordingly.
“We came here with certain promises and we want to take everyone along and win their trust. Our primary agenda is to ensure the implementation of the policy (NEP) at the ground level,” Pradhan said. “I have found out that many policies are already being implemented… We want to ensure that the implementation is done properly on ground.”
He also spoke about marrying skill and education for better implementation of policies.
For this, he said, young people in the country should be divided into three categories — young kids in pre-school, those who are in the formal education space and those who are school dropouts. The last category of youth, he said, are the ones that can be linked to the skill development sector.
“There is a huge potential in the skill development sector for students who drop out of schools. This is why we need to marry skill and education and treat it as the same subject to explore more opportunities,” he added.
Minister has his work cut out
In his first two days as minister, Pradhan has met the heads of various autonomous bodies such as the University Grants Commission (UGC), the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), among others. He also interacted with senior civil servants in the ministry to understand the developments on various policies in a better way.
The minister had interacted with directors of several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday. The interaction focused on IITs discussing their research and innovation with the PM and Pradhan.
Apart from the implementation of NEP, one of the major tasks cut out for Pradhan is deciding on the academic calendar, which has been disturbed again because of the second Covid-19 wave, and taking a decision on the dates of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
While the date for NEET was initially decided to be 1 August, it is most likely to be delayed now as the registration process, which is supposed to start at least 60 days before the exam, has not begun yet. The government is yet to come up with a notification regarding NEET.
The other task that awaits the minister’s intervention is filling up posts of vice-chancellors across various central universities. Almost half of the 40 central universities, including the prestigious JNU, BHU, Delhi University, and Hyderabad University, have been without vice-chancellors for months.
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)