According To Kerala Minister, The NEP Commodifies Education
During the ‘Assembly on Education’ organized by the All India People’s Science Network, Kerala’s Higher Education Minister, R. Bindu, criticized the New Education Policy (NEP) released by the Centre in 2020, according to media reports.
According to her, the NEP would lead to the “communalising and commodifying education” and should be viewed in the context of the current socio-political situation where communal forces are joining hands with corporate forces. She added that the NEP would impose centralization and denounce the federal principles of the country.
Dr. Bindu demanded parliamentary scrutiny of the NEP, stating that it had bypassed the parliamentary procedure and had not been subjected to any legislative or social scrutiny. She criticized the NEP for failing to study the impact of previous policy documents and instead glorifying an ancient India.
In response, Dr. Bindu said that Kerala’s experiment was to resist the NEP by developing a higher education model that suits the specific needs of the State and its people. She claimed that Kerala intends to build a people-centric knowledge society that is different from the model projected by developed capitalist societies.
Dr. Bindu also criticized the NEP for dismantling the affiliating system of colleges, which would be detrimental to students from rural areas, especially tribal students. She added that the NEP had failed to identify and address the socio-economic challenges faced by India’s educational progress.
Finally, Dr. Bindu alleged that the NEP’s repeated assertions of “Indianness” paved the way for a very narrow concept of the nation in the present situation. She claimed that the NEP dismissed India’s variety, plurality, and diversity as fragmentation, instead of seeing it as an asset.