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Education in mother tongue initiating new form of justice for Indian students: Modi

Jul 29, 2023 02:53 PM IST

PM Modi inaugurated the Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Samagam at Bharat Mandapam in Delhi on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of NEP 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that the use of the mother tongue in education under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 initiated a “new form of justice” for the students in India and termed it as a “very significant step” towards social justice.

PM Modi (Twitter photo)
PM Modi (Twitter photo)

PM Modi inaugurated the Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Samagam at Bharat Mandapam in Delhi on Saturday to mark the third anniversary of NEP 2020. While addressing the inaugural session of the two-day event, the PM said the world is looking at India as a “nursery of new possibilities” and many countries have invited India to open IIT campuses.

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Emphasising that the biggest injustice to any student is judging them based on their language instead of their capabilities, Modi said, “Education in the mother tongue is initiating a new form of justice for the students in India. It is also a very significant step towards social justice.”

In the event, the prime minister also released education and skill curriculum books translated into 12 Indian languages. The NEP 2020 advocates imparting education in regional and Indian languages at both school and higher education levels.

The prime minister also released the first instalment of Rs.630 crore for the upgradation of 6,207 existing schools under the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI).

Underlining that many developed nations of the world have got the edge owing to their local language, PM Modi gave said that most countries make use of their own native languages. “Although India has an array of established languages, they were presented as a sign of backwardness, and those who could not speak English were neglected and their talents were not recognised. As a result, the children of the rural areas remained most affected,” he said.

“India has now begun to shun this belief with the advent of the National Educational Policy…Even at the UN, I speak in the Indian language,” he added.

The PM said that under the NEP 2020, subjects ranging from social science to engineering will now be taught in Indian languages. “When the students are confident in a language, their skills and talent will emerge without any restrictions,” he said.

He further pointed out that it will also “shut the shops” of those who try to “politicise language for their own selfish interests”. “National Educational Policy will give due respect and credit to every language in the country,” the PM said.

PM Modi said that new books with about 130 subjects are coming up for classes 3 to 12 in 22 different languages as a result of education being imparted in regional languages.

He said that we have to create an “energetic new generation” in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal which will be free from the “mentality of slavery” and eager for innovations and ready to bring laurels in fields from science to sports, willing to skill themselves as per the needs of the 21st century, a generation filled with a sense of duty. “NEP will play a big role in this,” Modi added.

Emphasising that among the various parameters of quality education, India’s big effort is for “equality”, the PM said, “Priority of NEP is that every youth of India should get the same education and the same opportunity for education… And this is not limited to opening schools. Equality should be extended to resources along with education. It means that every child should get options as per choice and capacity. No child is deprived of education due to place, class, region.”

“In the age of 5G, these modern schools will be a medium of modern education”, he added.

He mentioned Eklavya Schools in tribal villages, internet facilities in villages and students receiving education through modes like DIKSHA, SWAYAM and Swayamprabha. “Now, In India, the gap of resources needed for education is being covered rapidly”, Modi said.

Highlighting the steps integrating vocational education with general education under the NEP 2020, the prime minister said that more than 7.5 million students are learning science and innovation at Atal Tinkering Labs.

“Science is simplifying itself for everyone. It is these young scientists that will shape the future of the country by leading significant projects and turn India into a research hub of the world,” he said.

“Any reform requires courage, and the presence of courage leads to the birth of new possibilities,” PM Modi said while emphasising that the world is looking at India as a “nursery of new possibilities”.

He further gave examples of software technology and space tech and said that it is not easy to compete with India’s capability. Speaking about defence technology, the prime minister said that India’s model of ‘low cost’ and ‘best quality’ is sure to be a hit.

Noting that the respect for India’s education system has significantly increased in the world with the increase in India’s industrial reputation and startup growth ecosystem, Modi said the number of Indian institutes is increasing in all the global rankings and informed about two IIT campuses opening up in Zanzibar and Abu Dhabi.

“Many other countries are also urging us to open IIT campuses in their own countries... Many global universities are willing to open their campuses in India due to the positive changes coming in the education ecosystem. Two Australian universities are about to open their campuses in Gujarat’s GIFT City.,” he said while stressing the need to make India’s institutes, universities, schools and colleges the centre of this revolution.

The prime minister also discussed the role of parents and teachers. He said, “Building capable youth is the biggest guarantee of building a strong nation and parents and teachers play a major role in that.”

He appealed to teachers and parents to prepare students for confident curiosity and flights of imagination. “We have to keep an eye on the future and think with a futuristic mindset. We have to free the children from the pressure of books,” the PM added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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