NEP: India Takes a Great Leap Backwards -Prabhat Patnaik

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published Published on Aug 8, 2020   modified Modified on Aug 9, 2020

The document is exclusionary, reactionary and promotes conformism aimed at serving the interests of capitalism

In a document like the New Education Policy, one must distinguish platitudes from new provisions, including the dropping of old platitudes. Thus, phrases like “education is a public good”, “6 per cent of GDP should be earmarked for education” are just platitudes, unless some concrete suggestions are advanced to realise these.

In short, repeating old platitudes is inconsequential; it is only not repeating them that has some significance, but such inconsequential repetition of old platitudes in the New Education Policy has impressed many otherwise well-informed observers, which explains the strange phenomenon of their according some approval to a policy that is downright reactionary and represents an obvious retreat from the goal of laying the foundations for an egalitarian society.

This retreat takes the form, above all, of exclusion of the socially and economically deprived sections from the ambit of education. There is scarcely any mention of affirmative action in the form of reservation for the socially oppressed anywhere in the document. And given the way reservations are being given a quiet burial in universities, such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, directly under the nose of the Central government and hence undoubtedly with its tacit support, the trend towards the exclusion of students from dalit and OBC (Other Backward Classes) backgrounds is unmistakable.

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