Draft education policy tweaked after opposition to Hindi imposition

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New Delhi: Following opposition from southern states, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has tweaked the draft National Education Policy (NEP) which critics said sought to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.

The paragraph now titled "flexibility in the three-language formula" says that students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in grade 6 or 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (on language at the literature level) in their modular board examination some time during secondary school.

The modification has been done to the draft of the policy and put up on the Ministry's website for public suggestions till June 30.

The draft policy also says that the three-language formula will need to be implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multi-lingual communicative abilities for a multi-lingual country.

"However, it must be better implemented in certain states, particularly Hindi-speaking states; for purposes of national integration, schools in Hindi-speaking areas should also offer and teach Indian languages from other parts of India."

The 7-member committee, headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation chairman Kasturirangan, had been set up by previous HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in June 2017 to overhaul the education system at the primary, middle and high school levels. It presented the report on May 31 to new Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' in New Delhi a day after he was sworn-in.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Javadekar also clarified in New Delhi on Saturday that the draft report was a recommendation and not a policy, and that "all Indian languages will be promoted".

The link to the draft copy of NEP found in the MHRD site is as follows:

https://mhrd.gov.in/sites/upload_files/mhrd/files/Draft_NEP_2019_EN_Revised.pdf

The details of the three-language formula may be found in pages 83 and 84 of the draft NEP.

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