Newsreading is to be included in the curriculum of 25,000 government-run schools in Uttar Pradesh to improve the general knowledge and presentation skills of students.
"This new concept has been approved and will be launched in a full-fledged way this month in selected districts in primary and upper primary schools," state additional basic education director Vinay Kumar Gill told IANS.
"This will immensely benefit students since they will improve their communication skills. Also, they will be aware of activities around the globe," he added.
Students from Classes 1 to 8 will be asked to read English and Hindi news clippings provided by the teachers daily after morning prayers, officials said.
"Initially, 25,000 schools in some districts, including Etah, Mainpuri, Agra, Hathras, Aligarh, Ferozabad and Mathura, will undergo the process, covering about 1.6 million students," said Gill. The scheme will be extended to other districts depending upon the feedback, he added.
There are nearly 300,000 primary and upper primary schools across the state's 71 districts. About 100-150 students are registered in each school.
To hone English communication skills, the state government had in May 2008 introduced the language from Class 1, on the lines recommended by the National Council for Education Research and Training.
Earlier, English was introduced in Class 3 but the state government felt this was too late, keeping in mind the social background of the majority of students.
Parents and teachers have welcomed the initiative.
"This exercise will help in confidence building and personality development of the students," said Shishir Lal, father of a seven-year-old studying in a primary school in Lucknow.