A new education policy to “correct” the education system, which follows a “colonial” mindset, will be brought out in December, Union minister Satya Pal Singh said today.

He said threadbare discussions were held on the new education policy, which is in its final stages.

“The NDA government’s new education policy is in its final stages and the same will be out in December. The policy envisages correcting the education system that has followed a colonial mindset,” the minister of state for human resources said.

After Independence, most academicians unfortunately followed the footsteps of British and western scholars and “deliberately” denigrated Indian culture, he said.

The minister said the biggest challenge facing the education system and government was how to “decolonise” the Indian mind, and added that the nation has to keep pace with the world in this field.

Some issues to be addressed are — improving the quality of education at the primary level, making higher education affordable and ensuring more people have access to education, he said after inaugurating the National Academic meet here.

Skill development was a major area to which the government has given thrust. But more has to be done on this, Singh said.

To prevent exodus of students abroad for education,he said higher education institutions matching the standards of centres of international excellence should be developed.

The MoS said accessibility to higher education in India was only 25.6 per cent while it was 86 per cent in USA, 80 per cent in Germany and 60 per cent in China.

“The aim is to improve the higher education system in the country to make it available to more,” he said.

Singh said the challenge before the government was to remove social and regional disparities in students having access to higher education and to make it affordable to all.

“In some places access to higher education is as low as nine per cent, but in others it is 60 per cent…higher education is very expensive and has to be made more affordable to all sections of the society,” he said.

Singh pointed out that 50 per cent of the teachers posts were lying vacant in universities.

“In Delhi University, there are 4,000 vacancies,” he said.

Singh said though India produces 30,000 to 40,000 PhD holders every year, the nation’s contribution to the world economy was only 0.2 per cent and added that a lot of improvement has to be brought about in research and development in the country.

He said changes are necessary in the Right to Education Act as the act “lacked teeth”.

“The Act provides the right to compulsory primary education. But what is the remedy if parents do not send their children to school? So many things have to be done to improve primary education in the country,” he added.

The meet was organised by Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram as part of the navathi celebration of P Parameswarn, Sangh Parivar ideologue and director of the BVK.