Ministry of Education Current Affairs - 2020

Government to review Chinese language programmes across universities

The Ministry of Education which was formerly known as the Ministry of Human Resource Development is all set to put several higher education institutes that offer Chinese language training on the radar. Even those institutes that had links with the official Chinese language learning and training department “Hanban” in the past are on close scrutiny. Hanban is a Chinese organization which runs hundreds of Confucious Institutes abroad.

Confucuous Institutes

Confucuous Institutes are publicly funded entities which are managed and supported by Hanban which in itself is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. The main agenda of the CIs is to deliver a programme which promotes Chinese language and culture, helpa in cultural exchanges and support local Chinese teachings internationally. CIs have been blamed several times for developing Chinese influences in the countries in which it operates. The blame of espionage has also been tagged to them several times.

Steps taken

Currently, India has two functional CIs which operates within Mumbai University and the Vellore Institute of Technology. The Ministry of Education has sent letters to at least five institutions that offer Chinese language training, asking them to send all details of its collaboration with the CIs since 2017. Further upon receiving it will be reviewed by Education Secretary Amit Khare on 5th August 2020.

In a notification issued to the Ministry of External Affairs and the University Grants Commission, the Ministry of Education plans to review 54 MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) signed between prestigious educational institutions including JNU, IITs, NITs, BHU, and Chinese institutions.

National Education Policy, 2020 : Highlights

The Union Cabinet recently cleared a new National Education Policy, 2020. The main aim of the policy is to make India a Global Knowledge Superpower. Along with the policy, the cabinet also approved renaming of Ministry of Human Resource Development to Ministry of Education.

In the history of independent India, the education policy was brought in 1968 and 1986.

Background

The draft of the new National Education Policy was submitted by the panel headed by the former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan in December 2018. It was later opened for feedback after Lok Sabha election in May 2019.

Key Highlights of the policy

The policy has raised public spending on education by the states to 6% of GDP. Currently, India spends 4.6% of its total GDP on education. It has introduced new curricular and pedagogical structure replacing the existing 10+2 structure.

The regions in aspirational districts that are facing greater social, economic and caste barriers are to be designated as “Special Education Zones”.

The policy also aims to set up “Gender Inclusion Fund”. The fund will help in providing equity education to all girls and transgender students.