Category Archives: Law and Order

Child labour

Child labour refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives them of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful. In villages, it is a common sight to see children of poor families working in fields or elsewhere to contribute to the family income. Such children are deprived of opportunities of education and are also prone to health risks.

In a sense, child labour is open exploitation as it deprives children of education and pushes them into exploitative situations. The side-effects of working at a young age are: risks of contracting occupational diseases like skin diseases, diseases of the lungs, weak eyesight, TB etc.; vulnerability to sexual exploitation at the workplace; deprived of education. They grow up unable to avail development opportunities and end up as unskilled workers for the rest of their lives.

It has been observed that in villages especially, representatives of various industries lure children with promises of jobs and wealth and bring them to the city where they are employed as bonded labour in factories. Many children are also employed as household help where they are paid minimum wages and are made to do maximum physical work.

What the law says about child labour

According to Article 23 of the Indian Constitution any type of forced labour is prohibited. Article 24 states that a child under 14 years cannot be employed to perform any hazardous work. Similarly, Article 39 states that “the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused”. In the same manner, Child Labour Act (Prohibition and Regulation) 1986 prohibits children under the age of 14 years to be working in hazardous industries and processes.

Role of panchayat members in mitigating child labour

  • Generate awareness about the ill-effects of child labour,
  • Encourage parents to send their children to school
  • Create an environment where children stop working and get enrolled in schools instead
  • Ensure that children have sufficient facilities available in schools
  • Inform industry owners about the laws prohibiting child labour and the penalties for violating these laws
  • Activate Balwadis and Aanganwadis in the village so that working mothers do not leave the responsibility of younger children on their older siblings
  • Motivate Village Education Committees (VECs) to improve the conditions of schools.


It is the discipline and profession concerned with the customs, practices, and rules of conduct of a community that are recognized as binding by the community. Enforcement of the body of rules is through a controlling authority. Articles that delineate the relationship of law to political structures are constitution; ideology; political party; and political system. Law can be divided into two main domains. Public law concerns government and society, including constitutional law, administrative law, and criminal law. Private law deals with legal disputes between individuals and/or organisations in areas such as contracts, property, torts/delicts and commercial law.


There are distinguished methods of legal reasoning and methods of interpreting the law.


A judiciary is a number of judges mediating disputes to determine outcome. Most countries have systems of appeal courts, with an apex court as the ultimate judicial authority. Some countries allow their highest judicial authority to overrule legislation they determine to be unconstitutional.


Legal profession, vocation that is based on expertise in the law and in its applications.


  • Social role
  • Private practice
  • Public-directed practice


The prevalence of mergers between law firms of different countries is indicative of the profound changes in the legal profession brought about by globalization—the increasing exchange across international boundaries of capital, goods, technology, services, personnel, and ideas. Law firms have also taken advantage of technological advances in computers and the Internet to avail themselves of electronic databases for legal research, to provide legal advice to clients far from their home offices, and even to develop software that can be used to reduce the human element in the preparation of contracts, licensing agreements, wills, and other documentation. Supporters of these changes suggest that they will better equip law firms to compete with large accounting firms and other organizations that offer legal services, while opponents worry that they are helping to erode the distinction between law and business.


  • International law
  • Constitutional law
  • Administrative law
  • Criminal law
  • Contract law
  • Tort law
  • Property law
  • Equity and trusts
  • Labour law
  • Evidence law
  • Family law
  • Transactional law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Commercial law
  • Admiralty law
  • Space law
  • Immigration law
  • Tax law
  • Banking law
  • Consumer law
  • Environmental law
  • Air law
  • Competition law


Principles of conduct that members of the legal profession are expected to observe in their practice. In India, under the Advocates Act of 1961, the Bar Council of India is responsible for creating rules for registering advocates, regulation of legal ethics, and for administering disciplinary action.

Principles of legal ethics, whether written or unwritten, not only regulate the conduct of legal practice but also reflect the basic assumptions, premises, and methods of the legal system within which the lawyer operates. They reflect as well the profession’s conception of its own role in the administration of justice.

A system in which a lawyer presents a client’s case in the most favourable light permitted by law and in which the court must decide the merits of the case may well produce different answers than those produced in a system that assigns a higher priority to the lawyer’s duty to the state to assure proper administration of justice.


  • Conflict of interest
  • Confidential communications
  • Advertising and solicitation
  • Fees
  • Criminal cases
  • globalization


In India according to Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, murder is defined as follows:

Murder.–Except in the cases hereinafter excepted, culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or- 167 2ndly.-If it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused. or- 3rdly.-If it is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death, or- 4thly.-If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any e

Culpable homicide (section 299 of Indian Penal Code, 1860)is defined as

By causing death of person other than person whose death was intended.–If a person, by doing anything which he intends or knows to be likely to cause death, commits culpable homicide by causing the death of any person, whose death he neither intends nor knows himself to be likely to cause, the culpable homicide committed by the offender is of the description of which it would have been if he had caused the death of the person whose death he intended or knew himself to be likely to cause for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury as aforesaid.

Culpable homicide is a term wider than murder. Therefore, Culpable homicide is considered as the genus while murder is regarded as a species. Murder is an aggravated form of culpable homicide. In culpable homicide the knowledge is not so definite, while in murder the offender has a definite knowledge that the act would be resulting in death. Thus, the probability of causing death is higher in murder than in culpable homicide.


  • Lust
  • Love
  • Loathing
  • Loot


Supreme Court held that following mitigating circumstances are relevant and must be given weightage in determination of sentence.

  • The age of the accused.
  • The probability that the accused would not commit criminal acts of violence as would constitute a continuing threat to the society.
  • The probability that the accused can be reformed and rehabilitated.
  • That in the facts and circumstances of the case the accused believed that he was morally justified in committing the offence.
  • That the accused acted under the duress or domination of another person.
  • That to condition of the accused showed that he was mentally defective and that the said defect impaired his capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct.


  • State of Tamil Nadu v. T. Suthanthiraraja
  • State v. Sushil Sharma
  • Swamy Sharaddananda @ Murli Manohar Mishra v. State of Karnataka
  • Prajeet Kumar Singh v. State of Bihar
  • State of Tamil Nadu v. Rajendran



Sexual relations between a married person and someone other than the spouse is adultery. Although the sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social, religious, and legal consequences, the concept exists in many cultures and is similar in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. A single act of sexual intercourse is generally sufficient to constitute adultery.



Though Leviticus 20:10 prescribes the death penalty for adultery, the legal procedural requirements were very exacting and required the testimony of two eyewitnesses of good character for conviction. The defendant also must have been warned immediately before performing the act.


Adultery is considered by Christians immoral and a sin, based primarily on passages like Exodus 20:14 and 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. Although 1 Corinthians 6:11 does say that “and that is what some of you were.


Zina’ is an Arabic term for illegal intercourse, premarital or extramarital. Various conditions and punishments have been attributed to adultery. Under Islamic law, adultery in general is sexual intercourse by a person (whether man or woman) with someone to whom they are not married. Adultery is a violation of the marital contract and one of the major sins condemned by Allah in the Qur’an. It has been said that these legal procedural requirements were instituted to protect women from slander and false accusations: i.e. four witnesses of good character are required for conviction, who were present at that time and saw the deed taking place; and if they saw it they were not of good moral character, as they were looking at naked adults; thus no one can be convicted of adultery unless both of the accused also agree and give their confession under oath four times.


Adultery and similar offenses are discussed under one of the eighteen vivādapadas in the Dharma literature of Hinduism. Adultery is termed as Strisangrahana in dharmasastra texts. These texts generally condemn adultery, with some exceptions involving consensual sex and niyoga (levirate conception) in order to produce an heir. According to Apastamba Dharmasutra, the earliest dated Hindu law text, cross-varna adultery is a punishable crime, where the adulterous man receives a far more severe punishment than the adulterous arya woman.[97] In Gautama Dharmasutra, the adulterous arya woman is liable to harsh punishment for the cross-class adultery. The Kamasutra discusses adultery and Vatsyayana devotes “not less than fifteen sutras (1.5.6–20) to enumerating the reasons for which a man is allowed to seduce a married woman.


Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, a man commits an offence if he engages in a sexual relationship with a married woman without taking prior consent of her husband to do so. As a punishment, he could be imprisoned for 5 years, with or without fine.

  • The Supreme Court declares Section 497 unconstitutional
  • Adultery law under Section 497 views women as a property of men
  • It allows men to file complaint but doesn’t give women the same right

Under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Adultery was an offence and a convict could be sentenced to five-year-jail term. Section defined adultery as an offence committed by a man against a married man if the former engaged in sexual intercourse with the latter’s wife. The law had come under sharp criticism for treating women as possession of men. An Italy-based Indian businessman Joseph Shine, who hails from Kerala, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) last year challenging IPC Section 497. He contended that the law is discriminatory.

The Supreme Court bench that dismissed a plea challenging Section 497 had Justice YV Chandrachud on it. Current Supreme Court bench hearing the adultery law case had his son Justice DY Chandrachud on it. It was Justice DY Chandrachud, who made the observation that women could not be treated as commodity by leaving them to the discretion of their husbands in giving consent in matters of adultery. The Supreme Court said in August this year that Section 497 as anti-women to dismiss the argument that the adultery law discriminated against men.



Force majeure refers to a contractual provision that limits liability due to unforeseen events outside the control of the parties that delay performance of the contract or prevent performance entirely. A force majeure provision excuses performance based upon the occurrence of specific qualifying events that constitute force majeure or that fall within the purview of a broader “catch-all” category of events that may qualify as force majeure events. These may include “acts of God,” war, fire, national emergencies, labor strikes, diseases, pandemics, epidemics, natural disasters, governmental acts or regulations, and other “acts beyond the control” of the parties.

In light of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses are confronting circumstances that may excuse or delay their obligations to perform under existing contracts due to the occurrence of a force majeure event. Governments and businesses have implemented measures to prevent or curtail the spread of the virus in the form of travel bans, border closures, restrictions on gathering sizes, closure of non-essential stores and businesses, cancelation of public events and other similar measures. The current and evolving restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may make it impossible to timely perform under the contract. Consequently, many businesses are simply unable to perform their contractual obligations. Some have invoked force majeure to eliminate or limit liability due to their inability to perform such contractual obligations. Similarly, some companies have cancelled various contracts for goods and services in light of travel restrictions and other limitations. The extent to which COVID-19 and its downstream effects and consequences constitute a qualifying force majeure event is highly fact-specific and depends on the terms of the contract, the specific facts, governing law and how courts in the relevant jurisdictions interpret force majeure provisions, among other things. With no force majeure clause it will be more difficult to claim relief. This means that the person who cannot fulfill the contract could be in breach of contract. If the contract has no force majeure clause then frustration may apply.  Even if a contract does not have a specific force majeure provision, applicable law may allow a party to excuse performance under other theories in the face of unexpected events.

COVID-19 does not itself usually stop a contract being fulfilled. It is the consequences of COVID-19 which causes problems. For many contracts entered into before January 2020 then COVID-19 issues could not have been anticipated. But it would be more difficult to claim that COVID-19 issues could not have been anticipated for a contract entered into mid-March 2020. This is important as if COVID-19 issues could reasonably have been anticipated, then relief for force majeure is probably not available. Although COVID-19 is almost certainly for most contracts an event outside the reasonable control of a party that is not enough. COVID-19 itself will probably not hinder performance; it is the consequences that matter. A government decree which is legally binding ordering a factory shut is almost certainly for a pre-2020 contract an event outside the reasonable control of the parties.


Supreme Court of India has original, appellate, writ and advisory jurisdiction

Original Jurisdiction

 As per article 32, Supreme Court is the guardian / protector of fundamental rights and any person whose fundamental rights are violated can directly approach the Supreme Court for remedy. Supreme Court has from time to time interpreted the fundamental rights and has protected the Citizens of India from any unconstitutional legislation which breech their fundamental rights. Any matter regarding the enforcement of Fundamental Rights comes under the Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Apart from this, Supreme Court is the Highest Interpreter of the Constitution and tribunal for final settlements of the disputes between Center and States as well as States and States. Supreme Court has original original Jurisdiction in matters related any dispute between:

  • Government of India and one or more states
  • Government of India and State(s) on one side and State(s) in other side
  • State(s) and State(s)

The dispute should involve a question whether of law or fact on which depends existence of a legal right which the court is called upon to determine.

Appellate Jurisdiction

Supreme Court is the Highest Court of appeal and the writs and decrees of Supreme Court run throughout the country. The cases come to the Supreme Court in the form of appeals against the judgments of the lower courts and this is called appellate jurisdiction. Appellate jurisdiction involves the Constitution, Civil and criminal matters. An appeal can be made in the Supreme Court against any judgment, decree or final order of the High Court in the territory of India, whether in a civil criminal or other proceedings, if the High Court Certified that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. Even of the High Court refuses to give such certificate , the Supreme Supreme Court can grant special leave to appeal if the court is satisfied that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. In every matter that involves the interpretation of the constitution whether, civil, criminal or any other proceeding, the Supreme Court has been made the final authority to elaborate the meaning and intent of the Constitution.

 As far as criminal cases are concerned there are 3 situations in which criminal appeals in Supreme Court are permitted: (Article 134)

  • The High Court has on appeal reverse the order of acquittal of accused person and sentenced him to death.
  • The High Court has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any subordinate court and such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death.
  • High Court certifies that the case is worth appeal to the Supreme Court.


Article 143 (Power of President to consult Supreme Court) discusses the advisory jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

  • If the president feels that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise and the question is of such a nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he can refer the same to Supreme Court for its advisory Opinion.
  • Such an opinion is NOT binding on the president.

Can Supreme Court overrule its own verdicts?

It is said that the Lower court is concerned with the facts and High Court with the error of the judgment of the lower court. The Supreme Court is concerned with wisdom. But the Supreme Court may also go wrong and such wrongs can be rectified. Article 137 of the Constitution provides that Supreme Court can review and revise its own orders.


Eve teasing refers to public sexual harassment of women by men. It ranges from sexually suggestive remarks, brushing in public places and catcalls, to groping. Some people suggest women to not attract men by wearing conservative cloths. Sexual harassment involves nonverbal, verbal, physical, or visual sexual attention, intimidation, or coercion that is unwelcome and unwanted and often has a negative impact on the psychosocial health of the victim. Eve teasing is a common form of sexual harassment.


This issue is depicted in television soaps like Savdhaan India and Crime Patrol. Indian cinema has been depicting eve teasing because of which its rate has increased. They show eve teasing as a part of flirtatious beginnings of a courtship, along with the usual accompaniment of song and dance routines, which invariably results in the heroine submitting to the hero’s advances towards the end of the song. Young men tend to emulate the example depicted so flawlessly on screen. In some movies it has been shown that when a girl is teased in this way, the hero will come and beat the guy up.


  • Passing vulgar comments
  • Touching
  • Pushing
  • Shoving
  • Vulgar stare
  • Winking
  • A sly whistle
  • An opportune clap
  • Collision
  • Despicable gestures


  • Natural attraction to each other
  • Lack of religious education
  • Unmindful about religions
  • Unfair dress
  • Open sky culture
  • Alcoholism and drug addiction
  • Unemployment
  • Lack of social bondage
  • Absence of family educations
  • Computer, mobile etc.
  • Political patronize
  • Cultural aggression
  • Obscene cinema, drama and song
  • Absence of law
  • Environment


  • Suicide
  • Mental disease
  • Family trouble
  • Blocking education
  • Killing and oppression
  • Child marriage


  • Keep alert
  • Raise the alarm
  • Strong body language
  • Do not assume traditional clothing will keep you safe
  • Do not pay too much attention to strangers
  • Family education
  • Both the victim of this social evil and offender need to be counseled
  • Victims must come forward and register a complaint
  • Giving stringent punishment to the offender
  • Implementation of Regulations


Mission-To strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, effective enforcement of laws, implementation of schemes/policies and devising strategies for solution of specific problems/situations arising out of discrimination and atrocities against women.

Vision-The Indian Woman, secure in her home and outside, fully empowered to access all her rights and entitlements, with opportunity to contribute equally in all walks of life.


  • Section 294: liable to punishment
  • Section 354: imprisonment for a term of 1-5 years
  • Section 354 A: imprisonment for a term of up to 3 years
  • Section 354 D: fine and imprisonment for a term of three years
  • Section 509: imprisonment for a period up to three years



An act to be constituted as sexual harassment does not have to be sexual. Sexual harassment is any form of unwelcome sexual behavior that’s offensive, humiliating or intimidating. It can be written, verbal or physical, and can happen in person or online. It includes:

  1. Making physical contact without a person’s consent
  2. Making comments that have sexual meaning
  3. Asking for sexual favors
  4. Staring at someone
  5. Making sexual gestures
  6. Insulting with sexual comments
  7. Cracking sexual jokes
  8. Sexual assault


  1. Depression
  2. Stress
  3. Sleep problems
  4. Headache
  5. Lack of confidence and self esteem
  6. Lack of concentration


  1. Be informed
  2. Talk to the offender
  3. Save any evidence
  4. Keep a diary
  5. Get external information and advice
  6. Tell someone
  7. Make a formal complaint

SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal )  Act, 2013 It seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. It was passed on 3 September, 2012 by Lok Sabha. It was passed on 26 February, 2013 by Rajya Sabha. The act came into force on 9 December 2013.

The introductory text of the Act is:

An Act to provide protection against sexual harassment of women at workplace and for the prevention and redressal of complaints of sexual harassment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

WHEREAS sexual harassment results in violation of the fundamental rights of a woman to equality under articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and to live with dignity under article 21 of the Constitution and right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business which includes a right to a safe environment free from sexual harassment;

AND WHEREAS the protection against sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity are universally recognized human rights by international conventions and instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been ratified on the 25th June, 1993 by the Government of India;

AND WHEREAS it is expedient to make provisions for giving effect to the said Convention for protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace


It is based upon:

  1. The mental trauma
  2. Pain
  3. Suffering
  4. Emotional distress
  5. Medical expenses incurred
  6. Loss in the career opportunity


  1. Provide a safe working environment
  2. Display the penal consequences of sexual harassment
  3. Organize workshops and awareness programs at regular intervals for sensitizing the employees with the provisions of the Act
  4. Deal with the complaints
  5. Treat sexual harassment as a misconduct


The Act also provides the circumstances under which an act may amount to sexual harassment. These are:

(i) Implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment; or

(ii) Implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment in her employment; or

(iii) Implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status; or

(iv) Interference with her work or creating an intimidating or offensive or hostile work environment for her; or

(v) Humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety


Sexual harassment rate at workplace is high in India. There is a need to provide positive and safe environment at workplace. Security at work must be provided, New strategies should be made by the employers and managers to protect the organization from this evil. Separate laws should be made. a law dealing with sexual harassment would provide women immense support in their struggle. Women should not accept anything as it is because now it’s the time to speak out against all the injustice done to them.  


Indulging in sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without consent is marital rape. The essential element to constitute marital rape is lack of consent. It does not need to involve physical violence. It is a form of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Initially it was regarded as the right of spouses to have sexual intercourse within marriage but indulging in such act without consent, now is termed as rape. Marital rape is experienced widely by women.


It was believed that if a girl marries a boy, she has given consent to have sexual intercourse and also that a husband cannot rape his wife. Rape was considered as a crime and theft of man’s property. It was not recognized as damage to woman but instead to her father or husband. A legal doctrine stated, upon marriage, a woman’s legal rights were subsumed by those of her husband. The property to be withheld in a woman was her virginity. A woman was considered as the property oh her father and after marriage the property of her husband. And thus it was assumed that a man cannot rape his own wife as she is his own possession. Marital rape cases are seen highly in forced marriages.

Rape laws was created to protect the property interests men had in their women and not to protect women themselves.


Many a times the victim of rape is forced to marry her rapist, as a resolution to rape. These kinds of marriages are known as reparatory marriages. As a result of which many victims remain in violent relationships and experience marital rape. Even after marital rape victims continue to remain in such relationships because they think that divorce may be hard to obtain. Another reason being they feel shame and guilt.


  • Spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV
  • Affects the victim’s reactions
  • Emotional trauma


In many religions it is said that after marriage husband and wife are no longer two, but one flesh. It is explicated in the writing of Apostle Paul as:

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again.

Sex within marriage is even considered as duty and some religious figures even consider marital rape as impossibility.


After marriage some obligatory roles are placed on wives which is considered as their duty. They are expected to sacrifice their happiness and everything for their family, fulfilling the sexual demands of their husbands.

Husbands are influenced by the expectations of their masculinity. Husband is the head of the family and is expected to provide food, cloth and shelter. Along with this comes the privilege and authority of patriarchy. And if the wife denies the husband thinks that he is being challenges. And then violence comes into play.


It states: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape”.

Recent change to this is: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being 18 years, is not rape”.

Section 375 discriminates between two groups of the same sex; married women and unmarried women. Right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution includes right to privacy, sanctity of female and to make choices relating to sexual activity. Section 375 Exception 2 stands against these very basic human rights and is contradictory in nature to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Exception 2 to Section 375 exempts unwilling sexual intercourse between a husband and a wife over fifteen years of age. India remains one of 36 countries where it is not a crime for a man to rape a woman.

Arguments given against criminalizing marital rape:

  •  Argument 1: It’s against Indian culture
  • Argument 2: Once married, women’s perpetual consent is implied
  • Argument 3: Women will misuse any law against marital rape


  • The criminalization of marital rape does not necessary mean that these laws are enforced in practice.
  • Lack of public awareness
  • Refusal

National Education Policy 2020

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new National Education Policy (NEP) with an aim to introduce several changes in the Indian education system – from the school to college level. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entries and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programs, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the policy.  Speaking to reporters, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said the changes are important as the policy, which was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992, had not been revised since then.

The NEP 2020 aims at making “India a global knowledge superpower”.The new academic session will begin in September-October – the delay is due to the unprecedented coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak – and the government aims to introduce the policy before the new session kicks in. The committee — which suggested changes in the education system under the NEP — was headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan. The NEP was drafted in 1986 and updated in 1992. The NEP was part of the election manifesto of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) ahead of the 2014 elections.

Either one of the mother tongue or the local/regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5 in all schools, the government said Wednesday while launching the National Education Policy 2020. Among other changes in the revision of the NEP, last done over three decades ago, is the extension of the right to education to cover all children between three and 18 years of age. The policy also proposes vocational education, with internships, for students from Class 6, a change to the 10+2 schooling structure, and a four-year bachelor’s program. NEP 2020 will bring two crores, out-of-school children, back into the mainstream, the government has claimed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying he “wholeheartedly welcomed” the policy, which he called a “long due and much-awaited reform in the education sector”.

In a bid to ramp up digital learning, a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) would be created. “E-courses will be developed in eight regional languages initially and virtual labs will be developed,” Amit Khare, Higher Education Secretary, said. Top 100 foreign colleges will be allowed to set-up campuses in India. According to the HRD Ministry document, listing salient features of policy, “such (foreign) universities will be given special dispensation regarding regulatory, governance, and content norms on par with other autonomous institutions of India.” Standalone Higher Education Institutes and professional education institutes will be evolved into multi-disciplinary education. “There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under Graded Autonomy, Academic, Administrative and Financial Autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation,” he further said.

Here are the important points in the National Education Policy 2020:

  1. The mother tongue or local or regional language is to be the medium of instruction in all schools up to Class 5 (preferably till Class 8 and beyond), according to the policy. Under the NEP 2020, Sanskrit will be offered at all levels and foreign languages from the secondary school level. 
  2. The 10+2 structure has been replaced with 5+3+3+4, consisting of 12 years of school and three of Anganwadi or pre-school. This will be split as follows: a foundational stage (ages three and eight), three years of pre-primary (ages eight to 11), a preparatory stage (ages 11 to 14), and a secondary stage (ages 14 to 18). According to the government, the revised structure will “bring hitherto uncovered age group of three to six years, recognized globally as a crucial stage for the development of mental faculties, under school curriculum”.
  3. Instead of exams being held every year, school students will sit only for three – at Classes 3, 5, and 8. Assessment in other years will shift to a “regular and formative” style that is more “competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking and conceptual clarity”.
  4. Board exams will continue to be held for Classes 10 and 12 but even these will be re-designed with “holistic development” as the aim. Standards for this will be established by a new national assessment center – PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development).
  5. The policy, the government has said, aims at reducing the curriculum load of students and allowing them to become more “multi-disciplinary” and “multi-lingual”. There will be no rigid separation between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra-curricular activities and between vocational and academic stream, the government said.
  6. To that end, the policy also proposes that higher education institutions like the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) move towards “holistic education” by 2040 with greater inclusion of arts and humanities subjects for students studying science subjects, and vice versa.
  7. The NEP 2020 proposes a four-year undergraduate program with multiple exit options to give students flexibility. A multi-disciplinary bachelor’s degree will be awarded after completing four years of study. Students exiting after two years will get a diploma and those leaving after 12 months will have studied a vocational/professional course. MPhil (Master of Philosophy) courses are to be discontinued.
  8. A Higher Education Council of India (HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education; the focus will be on institutions that have 3,000 or more students. Among the council’s goals is to increase the gross enrolment ratio from 26.3 percent (2018) to 50 percent by 2035. The HECI will not, however, have jurisdiction over legal and medical colleges.

The Cabinet also approved changing the name of the HRD ministry to the education ministry.