The key recommendations in the draft report prepared by the K Kasturirangan committee on the New Education Policy (NEP) include adhering to the three-language formula with Hindi mandatory till Class 8 across the country, a uniform syllabus for Science and Maths and promoting education based on skill.
Currently, Hindi isn’t compulsory at schools in many non-Hindi-speaking states, such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, West Bengal and Assam.
The NEP aims to implement an “India-centric” and “scientific” system of learning in schools, according to the Indian Express. As per reports, the NEP has also advocated for developing a syllabus for up to Class 5 in local languages, such as Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, etc., in areas where they are spoken.
The article quoted HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to say the report was ready and committee members had sought an appointment. Javadekar has said on several occasions that it is a policy based document from 2020 to 2040 meant to educate a generation.
However, Javadekar later took to Twitter to clarify that no language was being imposed.
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) 10 January 2019
The move, however, has not gone down well with all parties, with the southern states accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “majoritarianism”. DMK’s A Sarvanan said, “Every time this government tries to impose it, we are going to oppose it. The three-language formula is unworkabale. Any language that is not mother tongue is alien language for us.” He added, “Just because the majority of the people speak Hindi, it does not mean other states who don’t speak the language must also learn it.”
TDP’s Lanka Dinakar said, “Imposition is not good for society. Regional language must be given more priority otherwise students will not understand the core essence of the subject.”
The view was echoed by Sanddep Deshpane of the MNS, who said the BJP “always advocates Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan but we oppose it. We have always said Hindi should not be made compulsory. All regional languages must be given priority and Hindi should not get any special status.” BJP’s sulking ally Shiv Sena too said regional languages must be given priority.