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Sharmili Mallick

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has sought suggestions from universities whether Hindi can be included as a compulsory subject at undergraduate (UG) level despite protests from some political parties of the southern parts of India after the Commission’s initial draft policy mentioned Hindi to make compulsory in UG courses.

The Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank made the matter public on July 25 in a reply to a question asked in the Rajya Sabha on the fact behind the “UGC making efforts to make Hindi compulsory in UG courses across the country.”

“The UGC has informed that a reference was made to universities to seek their opinion/suggestions regarding the teaching of Hindi. However, the universities are autonomous bodies and any decision to teach any particular subject is under their control,” the Minister told the House in a written reply.

[caption id="attachment_378348" align="aligncenter" width="762"]Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal[/caption]

Earlier in June, the draft New Education Policy was made public for suggestions. The initial draft prepared by a committee headed by former ISRO head K Kasturirangan had mentioned that the study of languages by students in the non-Hindi speaking states, would include a regional language, Hindi and English.

This three-language formula in the New Education Policy created uproar in southern political parties.

Following the opposition, the Union government later revised the draft New Education Policy over the proposal for a three-language formula for schools which include English, Hindi and a regional mother tongue in “non-Hindi speaking states.”

The revised New Education Policy dropped Hindi from the section called “flexibility in the choice of languages” and removed controversial phrase- “non-Hindi speaking states.”

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