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  • Priyank Sharma

How a policy is impacted by political intervention?

In the last blog, taking the example of National Education Policy 2020, I discussed how policy changes shape even though it begins with ground realities. However, we left an important aspect that impacts this process - Political Intervention!

In this post, I will take the example of National Policy on Education 1986, and discuss how this whole policy making becomes even more chaotic when we have political interventions.

In 1985, Govt. of India issued an agenda paper for creating the next national education policy. You can google it; it's called "Challenge of Education - A Policy Perspective". Following which in 1986, the Rajiv Gandhi govt. came up with the National Policy on Education (NPE).

Next, VP Singh came to power in 1989. New Govt. New Agenda. The new govt. constituted a committee in 1990 headed by Acharya Ramamurti to review the NPE 1986 and provide recommendations for its modifications.

Please note that Acharya Ramamurti committee had some of the noted educationists like Anil Sadgopal etc. and the committee had rigorous pointers for the national education policy.

The committee submitted its report in January 1991, but soon after that the govt. changed and PV Narsimha Rao came to power. Again, new govt. and new agenda. The report didn't have significance anymore.

Instead, the govt. came up with POA (Plan of Action) for the National Policy on Education 1986 in 1992.

Interestingly, if you read about this on internet, everywhere you will find that the Plan of Action for the 1986 NPE that came in 1992 was based on the recommendations of the Ramamurti committee report, but that's just on paper, in reality, it's so not true.

The final POA or now called National Policy on Education 1986-92 were tangential to the suggestions of Ramamurti committee. Think about the money, energy and resources spent on all of this? Think about how disjointed the whole policy making process becomes.

Academicians who do the ground work for building policy, experts who review it, bureaucrats who finally write the policy and the govts who are part of this process, may not be the same, and they may not always care about the other!

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