Indian National Policy on Education of 1986

First national education policy was formulated in 1968 after the independance of India. Its aim was national progress,  development of common citizenship and integration of India. It introduced the System of 10+2+3 of education. this policy failed due to lack of concern for rural education and upliftment. The perception was all-round development, material and spiritual.  In 1976 Amendment of the Constitution, put education system under Concurrent List. the policy was recommended by The Education Commission of 1964-66.

Indian Society is composed of people of various religions and faiths. They are expected not only to life together and tolerate each other, but to live a harmonious life in peace and love. Before and after partition in India, religious conflicts and communal disturbances have impeded the growth of this nation and its attempt towards progress.

After National Education Policy of 1986, a shift by the impugned National Educational Policy, 2002 towards the teaching of religions in the schools to educate children to understand common factors in all religions, is not a non-secular step. Even before the Government decided to make a shift in the educational policy in that direction, eminent educationalists, thinkers, philosophers and academicians have expressed thoughts that for all round development of child, study of religions should start in rudimentary form from school education and should continue up to the higher education. It has been emphasised that education should not be for the purposes of making a child merely literate and intelligent.

The real education is one in which a child gradually realises that he is made up not only of body and mind but also some inner elemental qualities. Democracy cannot survive and Constitution cannot work unless Indian citizens are not only learned and intelligent, but they are also of moral character and imbibe the inherent virtues of human-being such as truth, love, and compassion. Thinkers and philosophers strongly recommend the introduction of the teaching of religions in education….it is to ensure all round development of a child and with the object that he grows as a citizen with respect for constitutional values.

Summary of 1989 Policy :

“8.4 The growing concern over the erosion of essential values and an increasing cynicism in society has brought to focus the need for readjustments in the curriculum in order to make education a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values.

8.5 In our culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values, oriented towards the unity and integration of our people. Such value education should help eliminate obscurantism, religious fanaticism, violence, superstition and fatalism.

8.6 Apart from this combative role, value education has a profound positive content, based on our heritage, national and universal goals and perceptions. It should lay primary emphasis on this aspect.”

The main objective of the National Policy of Education of 1986 and Programme of Action, 1992 was to establish a national system of education implies that all students irrespective of caste; creed, sex, and religion have access to education of a comparable quality. Actually, the objectives of this policy had been divided into the several aspects.

In relation to Elementary Education, followings are the major objectives of National Policy of Education 1986 are mainly:

  1. Universal access and enrolment
  2. Universal retention of children up to 14 years of age and
  3. A sustainable improvement in the quality education to enable all children to achieve essential levels of learning.Regarding Secondary Education, National Policy of Education stressed on the improvement of the quality of secondary education. Effort to be made to provide computer literacy in as many secondary level institutions to make the students equipped with necessary computer skills.

    Regarding higher education, National Policy of Education and Programme of Action of 1986 and 1992 emphasized that higher education should provide to the people with an opportunity to reflect on the critical social, economic, cultural, moral and spiritual issues.

    Thus, the basic objectives of the National Policy of Education of 1986 and Programme of Action of 1992 emphasized that education must play a positive and interventionist role in correcting social and regional imbalance, empowering women, and in securing rightful place for the disadvantaged and the minorities. Government should take a strong determination and commitment to provide education for all, the priority areas being free and compulsory education, covering children with special needs, eradication of illiteracy, education for women’s equality and special focus on the education of S.C. s (Scheduled caste) and S.T. s(Scheduled tribes) and Minorities.

    The educational policy as highlighted in the N.P.E. also emphasized on enhancing and promoting the vocationalisation of education, adult education, education for the mentally and physically challenged persons, non-formal education, open universities and distance learning, rural university, early childhood care and education. Delinking degrees from job was also one of the basic objectives of National Policy of Education of 1986.

National Curriculum Framework of 2005

It emphasised that:

“We need to reaffirm our commitment to the concept of equality, within the landscape of cultural and socio-economic diversity from which children enter into the portals of the school. Individual aspirations in a competitive economy tend to reduce educating to being an instrument of material success. The perception, which places the individual in exclusively competitive relationships, puts unreasonable stress on children, and thus distorts values. It also makes learning from each other a matter of little consequence. Education must be able to promote values that foster peace, humaneness and tolerance in a multicultural society.”

The Framework emphasizes that in order to foster democracy as a way of life rather than only as a system of governance, the values enshrined in the Constitution assume paramount significance. The Framework takes specific note of the importance ascribed by the Constitution to the constitutional values of equality, justice, liberty and secularism.

In order to facilitate the achievement of these objects, CBSE has adopted concrete measures including a modified scheme of assessment with attitude and values. In 2009, CBSE strengthened the scheme of assessment for classes IX and X by emphasising co-scholastic areas of life-skills, attitudes and values, sports and games as well as co-curricular activities. The Board has specifically focused on Article 51A of the Constitution in its effort to inculcate democratic values. Besides introducing a modified scheme of assessment with attitude and values, CBSE has introduced value based questions in the Summative Assessment -II in classes IX and X and in the year end examination for classes XI and XII from the year 2012-2013. The Board has adopted an interdisciplinary approach and decided to assess students with approximately a five per cent weightage in each subject at the above Summative Assessments through questions which have been integrated with the content of the subject and analysed on the basis of the values it reflects.

 In order to further this object, circulars were issued by CBSE on 19 June 2012. CBSE has also published a Handbook for teachers on value education in 1997 of which revised editions were brought out in 2003 and 2012. In 2015, CBSE launched a values education kit comprising of a revised values education teachers’ Handbook, a set of value cards and other materials. The values education kit has been developed to provide broad guidelines for teachers on moral education. This serves as a resource for teachers to conduct interactive sessions in their classes.

 Among the other steps which have been taken by CBSE are:

“(i) A Manual on environmental education and adolescence education;

(ii) Initiation of an `Awakened Citizens Programme’ with Ramakrishan Mission;

(iii) An educators Manual for gender sensitivity pedagogy at primary, middle, secondary and senior secondary classes;

(iv) Introduction of a human rights and gender studies elective course;

(v) Steps to improve inclusive education particularly for students with disabilities and special needs.”


CBSE has stated that the new textbooks of NCERT, following the integrated approach, have included content that provides students with an opportunity to focus on personal, social, constitutional and humane values. Illustrations have been furnished to the Court of the specific chapters devoted to inculcating these values in textbooks prescribed for various subjects including Geography, Social Science, History, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. A resource book entitled “Ways to Peace” has been written for teachers to promote attitudes, values and skills necessary for living in harmony with oneself and others.

 In December 2012, NCERT developed a framework titled “Education for Values in Schools” in consultation with various stakeholders such as principals, teachers and educationists. The Framework deals with the need for shifting from conventional pedagogy to a new pedagogy of values by adopting what is described as a `whole school approach’ to education focusing on core values. CBSE has particularly emphasised the following:

“(i) Co-curricular activities, such as discussions, debates, exhibitions, projects, skits, celebration of important days, such as earth day, environment days, national education days, Heritage India Quiz, morning assemblies, birthdays of leaders such as Swami Vivekananda , Rabindra Nath Tagore, etc. taking up community service, adult education drive, rallies and walks for noble causes.

(ii) Fundamental rights and duties, and Directive Principles of State Policy form part of the Social Science syllabus for Class VIII and Class XI, Political Science.

(iii) Brought out various publications for inculcation of values among children.”

The Board has specifically focused on Article 51A of the Constitution as these values are counted in the performance of students. Schools are bound to inculcate them by conducting curricular, cross-curricular group activities and projects.

Categories: CIVIL

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