The Centre’s new National Education Policy, unveiled on Wednesday, does not include Chinese in the list of foreign languages offered to secondary school students. The language was, however, included in the draft version of the education policy released last year.

“In addition to high quality offerings in Indian languages and English, foreign languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, will also be offered at the secondary level, for students to learn about the cultures of the world and to enrich their global knowledge and mobility according to their own interests and aspirations,” the government said in its New Education Policy.

In the 2019 draft, the government had said that students would be given an option to choose French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese as elective subjects.

The omission of Chinese from the New Education Policy came amid India’s heightened tensions with the neigbouring country after the clash in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in June, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

The deaths of Indian soldiers sparked calls for the boycott of Chinese goods and business. In June, the Centre banned 59 Chinese apps citing threat to national security and sovereignty. Earlier this week, 47 applications, which were clones of the banned apps, were also blocked. China had called India’s move to ban the mobile apps a violation of World Trade Organization rules.

India and China have held several rounds of talks to work out details of disengagement from the stand-off areas. On Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China had not disengaged from the disputed ares, contrary to its claims.

Also read: Centre’s new National Education Policy aims to make board exams easier, promote multilingualism