Kolkata: The tussle between the Union government and the West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee has now reached the education sector.
State Education Minister Bratya Basu announced late Thursday evening that the state government has decided to create its own State Education Policy (SEP) rather than implement the Union government's National Education Policy.
"The Union government, like many other aspects, are trying to force the NEP on the different state governments. However, we are not agreeable to that and hence we have decided to formulate the state's own education policy," he told media persons.
A 10-member committee has been constituted to give a report on this count within the next two months. This includes Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, the noted faculty from Colombia University, historian and former Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member, Sugata Basu, former Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University, Suranjan Das and Sanskrit language specialist, Nrishinha Prasad Bhaduri, among others.
Sources from the state Education Department told IANS the committee, before submitting the said report within the next two months, will also study the independent education policies pursued by the non-BJP state government like those in Maharashtra and Kerala.
Bhaduri said that the state government has every right to have its own education policy. "Anyway, it is a welcome move. A country like India with such diversity of culture and huge population can never have a uniform pan- India national education policy," he said.
According to arguments of the Union government, the national education policy aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3 per cent (2018) to 50 per cent by 2035.