The National Education Policy 2020 significantly emphasises promoting and frequently using Indian languages in education.
The policy strongly emphasises the value of teaching and instruction in local languages. The University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman, Prof M Jagadesh Kumar, has asked all the higher education institutions/universities/colleges to allow students to write exams in their local language even if the programme is offered in English medium.
As per the letter dated April 19, the Commission has urged universities to promote the translation of original writing into local languages and use local languages in the teaching-learning process. To fulfil the mission of promoting local languages in higher education, the Commission has requested universities to provide the following information:
A. Discipline-wise list of textbooks/reference books/study material available/used in the local languages in your institution/university.
B. Discipline-wise list of the main topics/courses for which textbooks/reference books/study materials must be written/translated into local languages.
C. Discipline-wise availability of faculties/subject experts/scholars who can write or translate textbooks/reference books/study materials in local languages in your institution/university.
D. Availability of local publishers for printing textbooks in local languages.
E. Discuss success story/plan on bringing study material in local languages.
F. Whether the students can write answers in local languages in exams.
The UGC is expecting universities to provide above mentioned information.
The NEP emphasises the importance of maximising communication in all Indian languages for improved cognitive development and the learner’s overall personality growth.
It is encouraging to notice that higher education institutions, universities, and colleges in every State of our country are also promoting the teaching-learning process in local languages.
Students, especially those from socially and economically disadvantaged groups (SEDGs), have benefited from this policy. Karnataka was one of the states to implement local language as a medium of instruction.
Yet, the academic ecosystem is still mostly focused on English. Students’ participation will steadily rise as instruction, learning, and assessment are conducted in their local languages, which will raise the success rate. The goal of enhancing the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education from 27 per cent to 50 per cent by 2035 will be greatly strengthened as a result.
Higher education institutions are crucial in the preparation of textbooks and in assisting the use of the mother tongue/local language in the teaching-learning process.
It is important to support activities like translating standard literature into the mother tongue and other local languages, bolstering the creation of textbooks in these languages, and encouraging their usage in the classroom.
Recently, in a landmark decision under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) approved the conduct of the Staff Selection Commission Multitasking Staff (SSC MTS) examination and CHSLE Examination for government jobs in 13 regional languages in addition to Hindi and English.