bratya basu

West Bengal to formulate its own education policy

April 8, 2022
Mita Mukherjee

The West Bengal government on Thursday said that it will not accept the attempts of the Centre to force the state to implement the New Education Policy 2020 and if necessary the Bengal government will formulate its own policy considering the interest of the students of Bengal.

The state government has set up a10 member committee comprising eminent academics who will examine the policies adopted by Kerala and Maharashtra post notification of NEP 2020. The panel will also suggest to the state government whether Bengal needs to have its own education policy.

The committee has been asked to submit its report to the state government within two months.

Announcing the decision, West Bengal education minister Bratya Basu reminded that although in the Constitution, education is in the concurrent list, the NEP 2020 is centralized in nature and it attempts to dilute the federal structure of the country. The Centre should not impose its policies on education on the states through the NEP, he said.

“ Education is in the concurrent list. The state enjoys the rights to frame its education policies considering the interest and demand of the students. The ten-member committee has been set up after discussing the issue with chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The panel will submit its report to the government within two months. The decision on formulating our education policy will be taken under the guidance of the chief minister after receiving the report,” Basu said.

The Bengal government, like many other states, had been opposing the NEP because of some of its contentious features, the ambiguous mother-language policy, promoting Hindi, common entrance tests for undergraduate courses and common exams in schools.   

The members of the panel set up by the Bengal government today include Gayatri Chakraborty Spivak, FBA professor Columbia University, Sugata Bose, Professor, Harvard University and Suranjan Das, vice-chancellor of Jadavpur UUniversity a state-aided university in Bengal.

 According to a government order issued on Thursday, the ten-member panel “will examine the policies undertaken by states like Maharashtra and Kerala,” examine the recent guidelines issued by University Grants Commission,  Ministry of Education of Government of India after the notification of NEP 2020, examine the steps taken by Maharashtra and Kerala and suggest the state government “if any state policy is needed as in the cases of the States of Maharashtra and Kerala keeping in mind the interest of the education/future of the students of Bengal.”     

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