National Education Policy 2023 – NEP 2023 Highlights

Introduction to National Education Policy 2023

The National Education Policy was established in the year 2020. It came into existence during the academic year of 2023-24, thereby becoming popular as the NEP 2023. The policy is termed as one of the pathbreaking and game-changer documents that have been conceived and formulated with the objective of bringing about a complete transformation in the Indian education system by 2030.

The New National Education Policy 2023 critically envisions a brand-new holistic education system for the country, hinging on the effective adoption of modern training methods, application of technology, and imparting practical and contemporary skills, to shape the overall personality of students. The NEP 2023 aims to help students define and recharge their creative, analytical, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities, topped by actively pursuing digital literacy.

Overall, the NEP 2023 provides for large-scale reforms in higher education, aiming to bring in more flexibility, shifting the focus from exam-centric to holistic and experiential, clearcut provision of entry/exit options, key synchronization of vocational subjects, and portability of academic credits to enable more mobility.

National Education Policy 2023 - NEP 2023 Highlights

National Education Policy 2023

In summary, NEP 2023 or National Education Policy 2023 outlines the framework for the elementary education system, besides vocational training across the country. The NEP 2023 replaces the National Policy on Education of 1986 and spells out a significant shift in terms of many aspects, affecting certain historical changes. The most important among them is the transition from a 10 + 2  structure to a 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 system.

At the heart of National Education Policy 2023 lies the objective to realize an innovative, student-centric structure that segments student education into four stages: Foundational, Preparatory, Middle, and Secondary. The stages are considered crucial and in a natural order where students progress from one stage to another mentally, shaping and broadening the thought process in a holistic manner.

The NEP 2023 incorporates numerous shifts and changes in the education policy. It also provides for an increase in education expenditure from 3% to 6% of the GDP on a priority basis.

New National Education Policy 2023 Focus   

The new education policy focuses on transforming the Indian education system by providing equitable and quality education to all children aged 3-18 years.

NEP 2023 Goals

The goals are to develop creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, and vocational skills, and promote lifelong learning.

New Education Policy 2023 Key Skills

Key skills to focus on include creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Let us list down the key areas where significant changes and shifts have been recommended in National Education Policy 2023:

NEP 2023 – Literacy Goal

To achieve 100% youth and adult literacy by 2030.

Fundamental Structural Change with NEP 2023

National Education Policy 2023 calls for replacing the 10 + 2 structure with a 5+3+3+4 model, recommended to attain foundational literacy and numeracy among students by Grade 3.

NEP 2023 Highlights

The policy states, “The highest priority of the education system will be to achieve universal foundational literacy and numeracy in primary school by 2025. The rest of this Policy will become relevant for our students only if this most basic learning requirement (i.e., reading, writing, and arithmetic at the foundational level) is first achieved. To this end, a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be set up by the Ministry of Education on priority. Accordingly, all State/UT governments will immediately prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools, identifying stage-wise targets and goals to be achieved by 2025, and closely tracking and monitoring the progress of the same”. Subsequently, the NIPUN Bharat Mission (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) was launched on 5 July 2021 to achieve this goal.

The transition of the model, as per National Education Policy 2023, will be implemented by reclassifying the education stages as the following:

  • Foundational Stage: The fundamental stage of laying the foundation that is further stratified into two substages: 3 years of preschool or Anganwadi, followed by classes 1 and 2 in primary school. This essentially covers children between 3 and 8 years. The focus will be on activity-based learning.
  • Preparatory Stage: Covering students of class 3-5, and in the age bracket, 8–10 years. Students will be steadily exposed to the fundamental learning aspects of speaking, reading, writing, physical education, art, science, languages, and mathematics.
  • Middle Stage: This stage covers students of classes 6 to 8, in the age group of 11 and 13 years. It will introduce students to more abstract concepts in mathematics, sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Secondary Stage: Classes 9 to 12, covering the ages of 14–18 years. It is subclassified into two parts: classes 9 and 10, covering the first phase, while classes 11 and 12, covering the second phase. These 4 years of study is intended to inculcate multidisciplinary learning, driven by depth and critical thinking. This provides for multiple options of subjects.

NEP 2023 Examination Structure

The examinations will not be conducted every year but will be held as three milestones, at the end of the classes, 2, 5 & 8.

Revamped examination structure: Students will now actively participate in exams in grades 2, 5, and 8. This reduces the burden and periodicity of assessments that constantly keep children under pressure, with exam-mode preparation overpowering holistic learning. Board exams for grades 10 and 12 will change significantly, where biannual mode will be embraced and objective-descriptive formats will take center stage.

The New Education Policy 2023 thus aims to reduce the curriculum burden on students and will be more ‘inter-disciplinary and multi-lingual’. The reforms begin with the model of examinations.

Mother tongue promotion

The cornerstone of the New Education Policy 2023 is the importance accorded to education in one’s mother tongue. Up to class 5, the medium of instruction will be the mother tongue, with a scope to extend it to grade 8 in the future. In the thick of a national debate where governments are seen fervently promoting English as the medium of instruction from even the primary school level, this prescription reveals the crucial side of education built on the linguistic foundation.

The provision is meant to enhance students’ comprehension and enable the flow of more effective communication with teachers, building stronger bonds, and staying well-connected to one’s cultural roots and background. Through this encouragement, the NEP 2023 intends to enhance language proficiency and clear the cultural chasms encountered by this generation of students.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum

The NEP 2023 encourages interdisciplinary and multilingual education, fostering the promotion of a flexible curriculum that nurtures diverse skills and encourages seamless attainment of knowledge. Transformation is the Mantra that drives the New Education Policy 2023.

Coding and Experimental Learning

Changing according to times, coding will become an integral part of the curriculum in 6th grade, and by integrating experimental learning methods, there will be increased focus on practical and experiential understanding.

Health Focus

The National Education Policy 2023 extends the mid-day meal scheme to include breakfast, with the addition of counselors and social workers to prioritize students’ health and mental well-being.

Higher Education Reforms

Multidisciplinary Bachelor’s Degrees: A flexible 4-year undergraduate program with multiple exit points (certificate, diploma, bachelor’s) that help students gain proficiency in a particular skill set, completely.

  • Goodbye to M.Phil.: The New Education Policy 2023 discontinues M.Phil. courses.
  • Higher Education Commission: Under NEP 2023, a Higher Education Commission of India will operate to regulate and manage higher education that works proactively on enrollment ratios and ensure higher academic standards.
  • Regulatory Councils: As per National Education Policy 2023, a National Higher Education Regulatory Council will oversee higher education (this excludes medical and legal education). Also, a Higher Education Grant Council will financially aid universities and colleges, thus effectively replacing existing bodies.
  • Internationalization: The policy fosters international collaboration by allowing foreign universities and institutes to set up campuses and centers in India. This is aimed at maximizing international exposure for students.
  • Fee Regulation: Both private and public universities will ensure regulated fees, to realize equitable access to quality education
  • College Affiliation: Will be phased out in 15 years, lending autonomous status to the colleges
  • District-level Universities: At least one high-quality multidisciplinary institute of excellence will be established in every district of the country by 2030, providing broader access to education
  • Multidisciplinary Universities: All universities will graduate into major multidisciplinary institutions by 2040, becoming destinations for holistic education.

NEP 2023 Teachers Policy Alterations

The NEP 2020 has listed certain significant policy alterations with respect to teachers and teacher education. Eligibility criteria have been clearly laid down to become a teacher. This includes a 4-year Bachelor of Education as the minimum requirement needed by 2030. Under the New National Education Policy 2023, the process of recruiting teachers is being strengthened and more transparency and equity is being brought into the system. The onus will be on the National Council for Teacher Education to formulate a National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education by 2021 and a National Professional Standards for Teachers by 2022.

New National Education Policy 2023 – How is it different from National Education Policy 1986

A significant departure is visible in many areas of the New National Education Policy 2023, in comparison with the older one. Let us broadly analyze some of the key differences between National Education Policy 2023 and National Education Policy 1986:

Holistic approach with a broader focus

In the New National Education Policy 2023, a strong emphasis has been laid on multiple dimensions that positively influence the overall growth of the student, mind development, and career clarity. This is seen in initiatives such as technology usage, experiential mode, and exit and entry options. Whereas, in the older National Education Policy 1986, the focus was on clearing exams, and gaining merits and degrees, since improving national literacy was the major challenge in those days.

Stress on language

The latest NEP 2023 displays unconditional veneration for Indian languages and identifies the cruciality of teaching in the mother tongue. The older policy did not touch down on this. Historic negligence of Indian languages seems to be aptly fixed in National Education Policy 2023, a much-needed attention that was grossly missing in the older education policies.

New Education Structure

With the latest 5 + 3 + 3 + 4 system, the National Education Policy 2023 calls for a paradigm shift that is set to turn into an epochal development. In the older policy, there was little attention or attempt to address the education structure reforms.

Multidisciplinary approach

Choosing a stream of choice with a career and passion in mind is always a challenge for the child. The choking that every child had to go through due to the terms of the older policy has been fixed in the New National Education Policy 2023. NEP 2023 clearly paves the way for a multidisciplinary approach that enables students to opt for subjects across streams, thus encouraging cross-disciplinary learning.

Education from early stages

The National Education Policy 2023 clearly attaches importance to education from early childhood. The older policy did not focus on this aspect.


As the latest NEP 2023 is unveiled and put into action, the world is already witnessing rapid progress and development on the technological front. The advent and intervention of technology have completely changed the way we live. The education sector is not immune to this. The NEP 2023 attempts to raise the bar in this direction and makes ample provisions to encourage and proliferate technological interventions in the education system. In the old policy of 1986, this was obviously missing.

Vocational education

The National Education Policy 2023 invites the incorporation of vocational education in mainstream education with appropriate synchronization that only complements conventional education rather than competing or cannibalizing it. With stress on fostering skill development and boosting entrepreneurship, the NEP 2023 constituents are on the job in the right way. The older policy only resulted in building degree factories where institutions were more into propagating the importance of mainstream subjects with an examination perspective. In the NEP 2023, there is a clear importance given to honing the skills and competencies of the children from a young age, thereby preparing them for their careers.

Experiential Learning

The National Education Policy 2023 is for experiential learning, encouraging learning while observing experiencing, and handling real-world applications. The older policy was hinging on rote learning and memorization.

Changes in Assessment Methods

The National Education Policy 2023 without any ambiguity calls for changes in the way assessment is carried out. This includes the adoption of continuous and complete evaluation, while the older policy of 1986 focused on examinations as the real and final benchmark of a student’s performance. NEP 2023 also proposes setting up of a new National Assessment Centre for evaluating learning outcomes.

Final Notes

This is all about the National Education Policy 2023, hope this article clears all the information about the NEP 2023 along with the difference between NEP 2023 with the previous education policies.

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