Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar denied on Thursday that a draft of the New Education Policy seeks to make the teaching of Hindi compulsory. His clarification came after The Indian Express reported that Hindi would be made a compulsory subject till Class 8 as per the recommendation of the K Kasturirangan committee set up to draft the policy.
“The committee on New Education Policy in its draft report has not recommended making any language compulsory,” Javadekar tweeted. “This clarification is necessitated in the wake of mischievous and misleading report in a section of the media.”
The committee submitted its report on New Education Policy to the Ministry of Human Resource Development in December, but wants to meet Javadekar to formally submit it, The Indian Express reported, citing unidentified officials.
Javadekar on Wednesday confirmed this to The Indian Express. “The committee’s report is ready and the members have sought an appointment,” he said. “I will get the report after the Parliament session [is over].”
The New Education Policy aims to implement an “India-centric” and “scientific” system of learning in schools. It seeks a uniform syllabus for science and mathematics, and a Devanagari script for adivasi dialects, which a member of the committee claimed were written in Roman script because of “missionary influence”. There will also be a syllabus up to Class 5 in local languages, such as Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, where these are spoken.
The nine-member panel to prepare a draft policy was set up in June 2017. The draft was prepared after “marathon discussions” on August 16, 2018. The panel implemented suggestions given by the Prime Minister’s Office, and met Javadekar and representatives of seven states, the newspaper reported. The policy was also discussed during the Shiksha Samooh of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated organisations in December 2018 in Delhi.
In October, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said during his Vijayadashmi address that “time is running out” to draft a New Education Policy.