Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday condemned Karnataka government's decision to scrap National Education Policy (NEP) as "politically-motivated" and said education should be a beacon of progress and not a political pawn.
"Disappointed to learn about Karnataka CM's politically-motivated decision to discontinue the National Education Policy 2020. Our education system needs evolution, not regression. NEP was a result of years of consultations, reflecting aspirations of all. This decision reveals the anti-reform, anti-Bharatiya Bhasha and anti-Karnataka character of @INCIndia.
"Karnataka deserves leadership that values progress and inclusivity and not petty politics. Let’s put students first and stop the petty politics! @siddaramaiah," Pradhan wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said the NEP will be scrapped in the state from the next academic year. He said his government by scrapping the NEP, which was brought in by the previous BJP government, will try to provide education in accordance with the Constitution.
"NEP was implemented in Karnataka, when it was not introduced in any other BJP-ruled states...I want to tell one thing, this year there was a bit of delay, from the next year onwards we will change the NEP and try to provide education in accordance with the Constitution, because BJP is anti-constitution and they believe in Manuwad," Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking at the general body meeting of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee here, he said NEP has to be scrapped after making necessary preparations, and as the academic year had begun by the time the election results were out and the government was formed, it has been continued this year to avoid inconvenience to students in the middle of the year.
NEP has been opposed by students, parents, lecturers and teachers, he said, alleging the BJP has sacrificed the interest of students by implementing NEP in Karnataka even before other states implemented it. Karnataka became the first to adopt NEP in higher education, in August 2021. The Congress, then in opposition, had criticised the NEP, dubbing it the "Nagpur Education Policy aimed at propagating RSS agenda". RSS' headquarters is situated in Nagpur.
The Congress, in its election manifesto, had promised to scrap the NEP, and during the recent budget, the CM had said it will be replaced by a state education policy.