India has evolved into an “information-dense society” during the last decade, and there is an increasing need to incorporate technology in education. “Extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing linguistic barriers, expanding access, as well as education planning and management,” according to the Policy, will be among the core concepts guiding the educational system. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (“MHRD”) has presented the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, which is groundbreaking in every way.
While the New Education Policy covers a wide range of topics, including the need for early childhood care, personalized education, and curriculum reform, the connection between education and technology is a common line that runs through it. Students and teachers have been compelled to re-consider the traditional learning and teaching practices due to the current “pandemic conditions”, in which virtual learning has replaced the in-person learning sessions. The Policy’s introduction at this key moment is noteworthy because it outlines the vision of education for future generations and will be a crucial tool in achieving India’s goal of becoming “self-reliant.”
- Education at the Primary Level
The Policy knows the significance of technology in assisting teachers, bridging the communication gaps between teachers and students, producing digital libraries, popularizing language learning, and assuring broader educational access specifically for differently-abled children. It is also suggested that coding be included in the education curriculum as a necessary skill for kids to learn. The policy also recognizes that technology may be a useful instrument in aiding teacher’s education and supports the use of digital platforms for online teaching.
- Higher and Professional Education
The importance of embracing technology in professional education as well as incorporating technology to accelerate the goal of obtaining 100 percent literacy, by introducing high-quality digital-based learning options, has also been raised. The Policy recognizes the role of technology in addressing a variety of societal concerns and tries to encourage collaborative research and development. Higher Education Institutions, for example, have been urged to establish technological development centers, and a National Research Foundation has been proposed to promote research culture in the country. The Policy calls for the creation of the National Educational Technology Forum (“NETF”), which will serve as a forum for the open exchange of ideas on how to use technology to improve learning, assessment planning, and administration in schools and colleges.
- Getting Used to Artificial Intelligence
The Policy acknowledges the issues that have arisen as a result of the extensive use of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and emphasizes the necessity to adapt to changes that have arisen as a result of growing AI use across industries. It has given the task to NETF with identifying and classifying new emerging technologies based on their “implications” and “estimated timeframe for breakdown,” and presenting a periodic assessment to the MHRD, who will then formally recognize such technologies that require appropriate responses from the educational system. In view of new “technological innovations,” the Policy is groundbreaking in that it recognizes the need to raise awareness and conduct studies on different elements of emerging technologies, including data handling and artificial intelligence.
- India’s Digital Future
The Policy calls for investments in digital infrastructure, the growth of digital educational platforms and tools, the conception of virtual learning environments and digital repositories, teacher training to become high-quality online content providers, the design and implementation of online assessments, and the establishment of content, technology, and pedagogy standards for online learning and teaching. The policy calls for the establishment of a dedicated unit to plan for the development of digital infrastructure, digital content, and capacity building in order to oversee the online educational requirements of both primary and higher education.
- Educational Administration
The Academic Bank of Credit was established as part of the Policy to digitally record academic credits received from numerous Higher Educational Institutions in order to speed up the awarding of certificates based on credits earned through time. The Policy’s focus on using technology to promote efficiency and transparency of regulatory agencies such as the State School Standards Authority and the Higher Education Commission of India, as well as its four verticals, is an intriguing aspect.
While the Policy is an innovative and forward-thinking document that recognizes the critical role of technology in enabling learning and teaching, it is critical to developing a cohesive plan of action for cultivating technological proficiency in order to facilitate successful engagement with technology and its future advancements while providing efficient information protection and privacy safeguards. In this aspect, ed-tech companies are well-positioned to assist with the implementation of the Policy’s numerous goals. The Policy also provides considerable potential for collaboration between industry players, regulatory agencies, and educational establishments.
In this context, the Internet and Mobile Association of India has suggested that the ed-tech industry and the NETF form a collaboration that will help simplify research and allow the NETF to embrace industry-led best practices. Essentially, the Policy's success will be determined by the methods and style of execution, as well as the ability to effectively incorporate the Policy's objectives into current initiatives and engage important stakeholders in the Policy's successful functioning. The Policy identifies that in the future, the content will be more dematerialized and digitalized in education. This attention is a tremendous achievement for India's traditionally orthodox educational system.