Published: 03rd June 2019
Mandatory Hindi recommendation removed from edu policy: After #StopHindiImposition backlash, MHRD modifies NEP draft
The initial draft of the NEP 2019 released by the MHRD made it mandatory for non-Hindi speaking states to learn Hindi till Grade 6. The policy faced a huge backlash from people across the country
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has released a revised draft of the National Education Policy on Monday removing the requirement for mandatorily studying Hindi in non-Hindi speaking states till Grade 6 after it caused a massive uproar across the country especially in the South Indian states. Now, the recommendation that students in Non-Hindi speaking states would have to mandatorily study Hindi has been edited out.
The revised draft of the NEP 2019 states, "In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level) in their modular Board Examinations sometime during secondary school (see P4.9.5). Since the modular Board Examinations for language proficiency will indeed test only for basic proficiency in each language, such a change in language choice in Grade 6 would certainly be feasible if the student so desires and would in such cases be supported by teachers and the schooling system. Additional choices of languages would, therefore, be offered in middle school for this purpose of choice and flexibility."
The original draft, released on Friday, May 31, stated, "In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6, so long as the study of three languages by students in the Hindi-speaking states would continue to include Hindi and English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of India, while the study of languages by students in the non-Hindi-speaking states would include the regional language, Hindi and English."
Even after the Hindi mandate has been removed from the revised draft, several questions remain. The new draft for NEP does not state which specific languages students are required to study in middle school. The students might still have to choose from Hindi or Sanskrit as most schools under CBSE, ICSE and other state boards still provide these languages as options till Grade 7. However, the revised draft still stands by the previous three-language formula, saying that it needs to be "implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country."
Citizens and politicians from Tamil Nadu decried the draft version of the NEP 2019 and had begun voicing their displeasure with #StopHindiImposition as the draft stated making Hindi mandatory in non-Hindi speaking states. After the hashtag #StopHindiImposition condemned the government’s proposal and garnered over one lakh tweets in its support since Friday, the government issued a clarification stating that the policy document was only a draft and it would only be finalised after getting feedback from the general public.
"It is not the Policy announced by the Government. After getting feedback from the general public, and after consulting State Governments, the National Education Policy will be finalised by the Government," stated the MHRD clarification from Secretary R Subrahmanyam in a tweet.