Making a strong pitch for the New Education Policy (NEP) which is yet to find favour in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it ensures greater freedom for the youth to take decisions on the basis of changing situations. 

This was delivered when Modi was addressing the 42nd Convocation of Anna University, in Chennai on Friday.

The comment, which incidentally came on the second anniversary of the policy, was made in the presence of Chief Minister MK Stalin and Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy, both of whom have opposed NEP while in opposition earlier and in power now.

During his speech, the Prime Minister referred to the policy once more to highlight what he described as freedom and flexibility it provided to the youth as an example for the reforms that his government introduced in the last few years.

In response addressing the event as guest of honour, Chief Minister MK Stalin listed the advancements that the State has made in the field of education, especially higher education, over the years, terming it as the Dravidian model the umbrella term used by the DMK to describe what it defines as an alternative model of development that should replace the centralised mode preferred by the BJP-led Union Government.

Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy, who is also the Pro Chancellor of the university, recalled how late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had scrapped entrance tests to make professional education more equitable, comments that were interpreted as criticisms on NEET and newly introduced common entrance test for university admissions.

Higher Education Minister Ponmudy also urged the PM to support the State’s initiative for the development of education. 

During the convocation, Modi awarded medals and certificates to 69 gold medalists. Governor RN Ravi and Union Minister L Murugan were among those present during the programme.

It is to be noted during June 2022 TN govt constitutes committee headed by retired judge Murugesan to formulate State Education Policy

The committee to form the State Education Policy will comprise 12 members, including singer TM Krishna and chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, and it will be headed by retired judge D Murugesan as the Chairman. 

According to the official notice, the committee will take input from educationists and subject experts and suggest reforms aimed at developing a modern, technology-driven education framework. The final reports will be submitted by the committee within a period of one year from the date of its constitution. 

Through the State Education Policy, the TN government aims to bring reform to the state’s education system. 

The newly formed committee will have the authorisation to bring reforms in the examination process and suggest reforms in teacher/assistant professor recruitment and training. 

The committee can suggest ways to incorporate life skills, soft skills, creative skills, language skills, and social justice values. Also, the committee would suggest ways to improve the quality of research in higher education institutions (HEI), per the official notice.

According to a notice released by the state government, “The Director of Matriculation Schools is the Member Secretary and he is authorised to organise and convene the meeting when required.” 

The notice released by the TN government states that “To draft a distinct state education policy, keeping in mind the interest of the education/future of the youth of the state of Tamil Nadu.”