The Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), KISS-DU organized the fourth invited lecture on the topic “NEP and Inclusive Education: Rhetorics and Realities” under the Invited Lecture Series on 10th December 2021 in a blended mode. The lecture was delivered by Professor Padmaja Mishra, Professor Emerita, KISS-DU and Former Vice-Chancellor Ramadevi University. Professor Mishra is a teacher and researcher of great repute with many national and international recognitions.

Speaking on the significance of the topic, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU highlighted the key areas of the NEP document. Talking about the implementation of NEP, he said that the State and Centre have to work hand in hand to ensure that the policy is put into practice in the near future. Education should be available and accessible, he stressed. In the context of KISS, he shared that the pristine organization has been practising Inclusion and meeting Quality Education (Goal – 4) of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Professor Behera also laid emphasis on the AURORA Project, a major ongoing international collaborative project on Inclusive Education at KISS-DU with European and Nepalese partners. Elaborating on the project, he stated that it strives to build the capacity of the teachers and collectively develop a curriculum on Inclusive Education with the support of Erasmus+ of the European Union.

The speaker, Professor Padmaja Mishra, wears many hats, he said, adding that she is a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of East Anglia, UK, and a World Bank Fellow at the University of USA, to name a few.

In her address, Professor Mishra provided an overview of the policies to date starting from 1956 and went on to highlight the key points mentioned in the National Education Policy – 2020. She underlined that the 1986 Education Policy focussed on access and equity while appreciating the unique features of the current document like Sustainable Development Goals, socially and economically disadvantaged groups. She underlined Section 6 and Section 14 of the NEP – 2020.

Speaking in the context of KISS, she said that it is the perfect ground to talk about Inclusion as it provides education from school level to Ph.D. Professor Mishra stressed the fact that inclusion does not come in segments it has to be holistically done. She also talked about concepts of Exclusion, different types of Disabilities and Inequality. Drawing cue from UNESCO’s mandate for education, she urged the need for Life-long, Life-wide and Life-deep learning. Professor Mishra concluded her lecture by posing a moot question of how a meaningful learning experience becomes questionable while meeting the other demands of life like marriage.

Dr. Disha Bhatt, Deputy Coordinator of IQAC proposed a vote of thanks to the speaker and other dignitaries present.