An official announcement was made by the Karnataka government on 21st August 2023 that the decision has been made to withdraw the National Education Policy (NEP) and come up with a new education policy for the state that would be implemented from the next academic year.
As quoted in Deccan Herald, “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated that the Union government doesn’t have the authority to create education policies, as education falls under the jurisdiction of states. He expressed that the National Education Policy (NEP) was framed without considering the states, and highlighted that a uniform education policy isn’t beneficial in a country as diverse as India. He also emphasized that states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have already declined to adopt the NEP”.
In April, the curriculum framing committee of the Kerala State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) made an announcement stating their decision to incorporate the content omitted by the (NCERT) National Council of Educational Research and Training into the state school syllabus. The NCERT had excluded subjects such as Mughal history, the Gujarat riots, and Darwin’s theory of evolution from the school textbooks. Education Minister V. Sivankutty further confirmed the state’s intention to include the omitted portions within the Kerala school syllabus. Tamil Nadu government established a 13-member committee in June 2022 to create a distinct state education policy and the report of the same is anticipated to be submitted by the upcoming month.
In August 2021, under the BJP government, Karnataka took the lead as the first state to implement the NEP in higher education. However, the NEP experienced considerable resistance from southern states that perceived themselves as centers of learning and wisdom.
According to M.C. Sudhakar, Higher Education Minister, the recent meeting did not involve any discussions or suggestions regarding the individuals for the expert committee. He stated that the policy formulation would consider inputs from all the relevant parties. The focus of this withdrawal pertains to both primary and higher education. Siddaramaiah had previously announced the upcoming withdrawal of the NEP, aligning with the Congress party’s electoral commitment in opposition to the controversial policy.
Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar mentioned that the Karnataka government is likely to consult the Karnataka State Education Policy report, which was developed by the former Karnataka Knowledge Commission in October 2016. Following the meeting, Shivakumar reportedly stated, “We have chosen to discard the National Education Policy, adopted by the BJP government. Our plan involves introducing the new Karnataka Education Policy next year.”