The Karnataka government on Monday decided to set up a committee to formulate education policy for the state -- while continuing the old education system for now -- as it has already made its view public that it will scrap the National Education Policy (NEP) mooted by the BJP-led union government.
The previous BJP government in Karnataka had introduced the new NEP in Karnataka but with the Congress government taking over, it decided to do away with the policy.
On Monday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah chaired a meeting on the subject with Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, Higher Education Minister Dr M C Sudhakar, Primary Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa, well-known author Prof Baraguru Ramachandrappa and senior government officials present.
Later a statement was issued by the CMO denouncing the NEP. “Since it is a state subject, the central government cannot formulate education policy. The National Education Policy has been formulated without taking the state governments into confidence. Education policy cannot be imposed by central government,” a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s office said.
The statement quoted Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as saying that “what is being imposed (by the Centre) is a conspiracy.” “A uniform education system cannot be established in a country like India with multi-cultural and pluralistic society. Therefore, the chief minister said that a committee will be formed to formulate a new education policy while continuing the old education system,” the CMO said.
It further said other BJP-ruled states are also hesitant to implement the NEP. Other states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have made it clear to the Central government that they will not implement the National Education Policy. The chief minister said the state cannot be treated unfairly since centrally funded schemes are applicable to all states, the statement said.
“The CM expressed his concern that NEP will affect the poor, scheduled caste, tribal, backward and rural people. Even if the certificate is issued every year in higher education, how many job opportunities will those who have studied for one or two years get? Even if the poor students get job opportunities and quit studying in a year or two, will they be able to study further in the future” the CMO asked.
At the meeting, Siddaramaiah said that educational institutions do not have the necessary infrastructure to implement this educational policy. This has created unnecessary confusion, the statement said.