Former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan to head education ministry’s panel to develop new curriculum for schools

The committee will discuss "position papers" finalised by national focus groups on different aspects of the four areas drawing inputs from state curriculum frameworks.

The Union education ministry on Tuesday formed a 12-member committee to develop new curriculums for school, early childhood, teacher and adult education, officials said. The panel tasked with developing four national curriculum frameworks (NCFs) will be headed by National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) drafting committee chairperson K Kasturirangan.

Kasturirangan is also a former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

This will be the fifth NCF, which will come after a gap of 16 years, and will be in accordance with reforms outlined in the NEP, according to ministry officials.

The members of the panel include Chancellor of National Institute of Education Planning and Administration, Mahesh Chandra Pant; Chairman of National Book Trust, Govind Prasad Sharma; Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia Najma Akhtar; Vice Chancellor of Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh T V Kattimani; Chairperson of IIM Jammu Milind Kamble and guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar Michel Danino.
Jagbir Singh, Chancellor of Central University of Punjab, Bathinda; Manjul Bhargava, American mathematician of Indian origin; M K Sridhar, trainer and social activist; Dhir Jhingran, founder director of Language and Learning Foundation (LLF); and Shankar Maruwada, co-founder and CEO at EkStep Foundation, are also on the panel.

According to the terms of reference of the committee, it will develop four NCFs for school education, early childhood care and education, teacher education and adult education, keeping in focus all the recommendations of NEP-2020 related to these four areas for proposing curriculum reforms.

“The committee will discuss different aspects of school education, early childhood care and education (ECCE), teacher education and adult education, keeping in focus all the recommendations of the NEP-2020 related to these four areas for proposing curriculum reforms,” an education ministry official said.

The NCFs serve as a guideline for syllabus, textbook and teaching practices for schools in India.

The committee will discuss “position papers” finalised by national focus groups on different aspects of the four areas drawing inputs from state curriculum frameworks.

The development of the new curriculums will not be a top to down exercise and district-level consultations will be held after states and union territories come up with their own curriculum before the NCFs are put in place, according to the officials.

While developing the NCFs, the committee will also reflect upon the implications of situations such as COVID-19, they said.
“The committee also will discuss the position papers finalised by the national focus groups on different aspects of all the above four areas. The panel will draw inputs from state curriculum frameworks received on the tech platform for the NCFs,” the official said.

“While convening its meetings, the committee may invite subject experts, scholars, educationists, etc. as and when required and deliberate and decide upon the course of actions with the objective to meet the timelines of the strategy for the development of NCF,” he added.

The committee will finalise NCFs after incorporating suggestions received from various stakeholders such as states, union territories and also in the meetings of the executive committee and general body (GB) of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Central Advisory Board on Education.

“The tenure of the national steering committee will be three years. Director NCERT shall assist the SC to complete its module. The terms of reference for the panel may be expanded as per the requirement,” the official added.

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