Union minister of human resource development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar on Thursday took to Twitter to clarify that reports of a policy in the works to make Hindi language compulsory in schools were false. He called the reports "mischievous and misleading".
The Committee on New Education Policy in its draft report has not recommended making any language compulsory. This clarification is necessitated in the wake of mischievous and misleading report in a section of the media.@narendramodi @PMOIndia
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) January 10, 2019
On Thursday, The Indian Express released a frontpage report saying it had learnt from sources that the nine-member committee headed by former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan, on the New Education Policy (NEP), had prepared and submitted a draft report to the HRD ministry. The draft, it said, recommended that schools adhere strictly to the "three-language formula" and that the Hindi language be made mandatory till Class 8 across the country. The committee, it was reported, submitted this report on 31 December, 2018.
News channel India Today also ran bulletins of the fact that Hindi would be made compulsory in schools till Class 8.
Javadekar's clarification was retweeted by former HRD minister Smriti Irani.
Hindi is not compulsory at the school-level in many states which have an overwhelming population of non-Hindi speakers, like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, West Bengal, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam.
The Express report also mentions that the draft carries suggestions for an uniform nationwide syllabus of science and mathematics and advocates for the promotion of education based on skill. The case for linguistic uniformity in the country is further bolstered in the draft by the suggestion that a Devanagari script be developed for tribal dialects.
The newspaper report cites sources as having said that the draft NEP was prepared after "marathon discussions" on 16 August, 2018. The committee, says Express, had incorporated suggestions received from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Besides, sources said, the panel held a meeting with Javadekar and representatives of seven states.
Incidentally, the report and Javadekar's clarification come on 10 January, which the Dr Manmohan Singh-government had designated as World Hindi Day.
Javadekar had earlier said that the new policy that was then being formulated by the committee, "will serve the country for the next 20 years and will be more modern, research-oriented and will produce better citizens."
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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2019 11:24:04 IST