University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Prof Dhirendra Pal Singh on Tuesday said the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the implementation of the New Education Policy 2020 (NEP), and if the situation in the country had been normal, it would have been implemented at a faster pace. 

The Centre had announced the new NEP on July 29, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking to reporters here, Singh said due to the lockdown, academicians got a lot of time to discuss the new policy. 

“The timing of the new NEP’s announcement was good. However, the pandemic has affected its implementation. If the situation had been normal, then it would have been implemented at a faster pace,” Singh said. 

The Centre has been interacting with the state governments and vice-chancellors of universities, and efforts are on to constitute regulatory mechanisms at different levels in this regard, the UGC chairman said. 

Some of the activities related to the NEP have already commenced from the current academic year, Singh said, adding that arrangements are being made to ensure that the policy gets implemented in the entire country from the July 2022 academic session. 

Earlier, Singh has delivered a lecture on the topic “Changing face of education in Independent India in context with the new education policy”, organised jointly by the English daily “Free Press” and Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidayalaya (DAVV). 

The NEP will not only connect students with their cultural roots, but will also inspire them to become the world's best citizens, Singh said. The NEP is a unique amalgamation of the ancient cultural values and the modern knowledge and science, he added.