Cassian Baliarsingh

The government will provide study materials till Class 5 in 22 Indian languages as the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 puts a special emphasis on the mother tongue, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said here on Tuesday.

“We have decided to provide the curriculum till the fifth standard in 22 Indian languages listed in the Constitution. Study materials of the foundational stage, be it textbook, playbook, or play-based material, will be prepared in 22 languages of the Indian Constitution using technology,” Pradhan said.

Pradhan was here at the launch of the three-day ‘Future of Learning Collaborative’ conference by the city’s Anant National University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Talking to reporters, Pradhan said that the mother tongue and local language are a special features of the NEP.

He said that the decision was taken at a meeting chaired by him on Monday to review the study materials for the foundational stage under the new National Curriculum Framework (NCF). So far, NCERT books used to be provided in three languages – English, Hindi and Urdu, he said.

According to the new school education system outlined in NEP 2020, children will spend five years in the foundational stage, three years each in the preparatory and middle stages, and four years in the secondary stage.

The Centre had 2020 started the process to revise school textbooks by appointing former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Kasturirangan as the head of a 12-member steering committee responsible for developing a new NCF.

Talking about the government’s plan for a Digital University, to be built on a networked hub-spoke model, Pradhan said it is a unique concept with no world model and deliberations are underway.

“To the best of our knowledge, there exists no university globally which provides a digital platform at this scale, from registration to examination through a virtual platform, while maintaining quality. India is developing a global model, and deliberations at various levels are going on and discussions of stakeholders are going on,” he said.