Centre releases New Education Policy; West Bengal extends biweekly lockdown till August 31

Centre releases New Education Policy; West Bengal extends biweekly lockdown till August 31

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New Education Policy (NEP) has been an essential part of Bharatiya Janta Party’s election manifesto in 2014. The first NEP was drafted in 1986 and later updated in 1992. While the policy will bring several changes in the education system of the country, the major transitions include discontinuation of MPhil courses, regulation of fees, 6 per cent of GDP investment in education, division of 10+2 system into 5+3+3+4 format, and many more. 

Now Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) will be renamed as Education Ministry under the new policy. Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar along with Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal while addressing the media on Wednesday said, ” We hope that the policy will be accepted by all sections of the society.”

K Kasturirangan, former ISRO chief headed the committee which has been suggesting the changes in the education system under the new policy. Under the NEP, students will be allowed to take up coding from class 6. 

Mamta Banerjee announces extension of the biweekly lockdown due to steep increase in the Covid-19 cases in West Bengal.      

On Tuesday, Chief Minister of the state announced the extension of the biweekly lockdown till August 31. While the lockdown strategy was implemented last week, the government has announced further lockdown on 5th, 8th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th and 31st. The lockdown in containment zones has been extended till 31st July. The state has around 60,000 Covid-19 cases. Banerjee said, “The biweekly lockdown will be implemented mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. But since festivals like Eid and Independence Day are occurring on Saturdays, lockdown will be enforced on some other day.”

Under the lockdown rules, all the government and private offices will remain close during the biweekly lockdown. However, courts, agricultural work, tea gardens, goods movement between inter and intra-state and home delivery of food items will be permitted. Domestic flights services will remain suspended during the lockdown. 

West Bengal recorded 2,112 positive Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The state also improved tremendously in its recovery rate. Around 39,917 people have recovered in the past 24 hours clocking the recovery rate to 65 per cent. During the announcement, Banerjee also requested the centre to clear the state’s financial dues to help the state tackle the Covid-19 crisis.