e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 31 (2) Jun. 2023 / JSSH-8436-2021


Can There be a Paradigm Shift in the Indian Education System? An Analysis of Socio-Economic Challenges in Implementing National Education Policy 2020

Akhil Kumar Singh and Vyasashramam Hari Narayanan

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 2, June 2023


Keywords: Early childhood education, Indian education system, National Education Policy, pre-primary schooling, socioeconomic challenges

Published on: 16 June 2023

The government of India has initiated an ambitious reform of the education system in the country with the National Education Policy 2020. This marks the third education policy post-independence, aimed at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The latest policy promises a revamp of the Indian education structure by formalizing pre-primary schooling, promoting multidisciplinary learning, academic freedom, and creating a more comprehensive, liberal, choice-friendly, and job-oriented education system that aligns with global standards. This paper briefly examines the major changes proposed in the policy for primary education and assesses the extent to which the Indian education system can adapt to fulfil the policy recommendations, given the prevailing socio-economic conditions in the country. This study highlights the hindrances to implementing the National Education Policy 2020 in India, including socio-economic challenges, health and digital access issues. It emphasizes the need for political will, investment in infrastructure and teacher capacity building, collaborative efforts, and careful consideration of potential risks to ensure the policy’s success and avoid harm to future generations and society.

  • Alam, G. M. (2021). Do urbanized socioeconomic background or education programs support engineers for further advancement? International Journal of Educational Reform, 30(4), 344-360.

  • Alam, G. M. (2022). Access, attendance and performance in urban K8 education during pre- and post-COVID-19 restrictions in Bangladesh: Comparison of students in slums, tin-sheds and flats. Education, 3-13, 1-18.

  • Alam, G. M., & Forhad, M. A. R. (2022). What makes a difference for further advancement of engineers: Socioeconomic background or education programs? Higher Education, 83(6), 1259-1278.

  • Ameerudheen, TA. (2018, July 8). Why Kerala’s public schools have seen a rise in student strength for the first time in 25 years. Scroll.

  • Benson, C. (2005). The Importance of mother tongue-based schooling for educational quality. UNESCO.

  • Brown, T. T., & Jernigan, T. L. (2012). Brain development during the preschool years. Neuropsychology Review, 22(4), 313-333.

  • Change state education laws before applying NEP: Delhi minister. (2022, June 3). Hindustan Times.

  • Cheruvalath, R. (2015). Is the right of children to free and compulsory education act really beneficial to the poorer children in India? An analysis with special reference to the admission of poorer children in public unaided schools. Education, 3-13, 43(6), 621-629.

  • Choudhary, A. (2017, January 27). Why India’s approach to primary education is flawed. The Wire.

  • Choudhury, P. K., Gill, A. S., & Kumar, A. (2022). What Union Budget 2022 – 23 offers for education? In the middle of hope and crisis. Economic & Political Weekly, 57(25).

  • Cummins, J. (1992). Bilingual education and English immersion: The Ramirez Report in theoretical perspective. Bilingual Research Journal, 16(1-2), 91-104.

  • D’souza, O. (2022, May 8). Why English remains aspirational language in India. Outlook.

  • Filipović, L. (2018). Speaking in a second language but thinking in the first language: Language-specific effects on memory for causation events in English and Spanish. International Journal of Bilingualism, 22(2), 180-198.

  • Garcia, J. M., Heckman, J. J., Leaf, D. E., & Prados, M. Á. H. (2016). The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program. National Bureau of Economic Research.

  • Global Hunger Index 2020. (2020, October 12). Concern Worldwide.

  • Government of India. (2017). ECCE Training Module for Anganwadi Workers.

  • Government of India. (2020). Setting up of Anganwadi Kendras. Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  • Government of India. (2022). Language Atlas of India 2011.

  • Gudavarthy, A. (2020, September 18). In between the lines of the NEP Are proposals that could serve some RSS ideas. The Wire.

  • India has largest number of malnourished children in the world: Report. (2017, November 1). Live Mint.

  • Jain, I. (2017, October 7). UP to have 5, 000 English-medium “sarkari” schools. The Times of India.

  • Lanauze, M., & Snow, C. (1989). The relation between first-and second-language writing skills: Evidence from Puerto Rican elementary school children in bilingual programs. Linguistics and Education, 1(4), 323-339.

  • Majumdar, M., Mukhopadhyay, R., & Das, B. (2021). Preschooling in india: readying children for a race? Contemporary Education Dialogue, 18(1).

  • Nanda, P. K. (2021, October 6). India’s school system faces acute shortage of teachers, says Unesco report. Live Mint.

  • Narayanan, V. H., & Singh, A. K. (2022). The Value of Epistemic Justice. Journal of Human Values, 28(3), 200–208.

  • National Archives of India. (1965). Minute by the Hon’ble T.B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835.

  • Pratham Education Foundation. (2021). Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2021.

  • Rampal, A. (2020, September 5). NEP: Revisiting a legacy of policy visions on Teachers’ Day. The Wire.

  • Roy, M. S. (2020, August 2). NEP turns blind eye to deep-rooted inequalities as caste, reservation take a backseat. The Wire.

  • Roy, S. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 on education: Policy responses and recommendations. Aayushi International Interdisciplinary Research Journal (AIIRJ), IX(II), 6-12.

  • Saha, D. (2017, May 8). Every hour, one student commits suicide in India. Hindustan Times.

  • Shakeel, M. (2021). Basic aspects of national education policy, 2020. Elementary Education Online, 20(3), 2593-2603.

  • Shepherd, K. I. (2020, July 31). Macaulay is very relevant today and helps Dalits, obcs join the global economy. The Wire.

  • Singh, A. K., & Narayanan, V. H. (2021). Embodied education: A pathway towards more integrated learning. Contemporary Education Dialogue, 18(2), 202–225.

  • Sreekanth, Y. (2021, January 4). English as medium of instruction at school level in India: Opportunities and dilemmas [Paper Presentation]. 8th Annual International Conference on Humanities & Arts in a Global World.

  • Vij, S. (2020, July 31). The mother tongue fanatics are keeping India a poor, backward country. The Print.

  • Yenugu, S. (2022). The new National Education Policy (NEP) of India: Will it be a paradigm shift in Indian higher education? Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, 5.