The Government of India has mandated that study materials for all courses, spanning from school to higher education, be made digitally available in all Indian languages recognized under the 8th Schedule of the Constitution. This directive, issued by the Ministry of Education on January 19, 2024, signifies a monumental stride towards inclusivity and accessibility in education, aiming to dismantle language barriers that have historically impeded the learning process for numerous students across the nation.
The Ministry’s decree calls upon all educational regulatory bodies, including the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), and heads of Institutes of National Importance (INIs) such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Central Universities (CUs), and National Institutes of Technology (NITs), to ensure that study materials in Indian languages are available for all courses within the next three years. The initiative also extends to state schools and universities, with UGC, AICTE, and the Department of School Education tasked with facilitating this significant transition.
This initiative is rooted in the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which champions multilingualism in education as a means to foster better learning outcomes and promote innovative thinking without the constraints of language barriers. The NEP-2020 celebrates the multilingual nature of India as a valuable asset and strength, crucial for the nation’s socio-cultural, economic, and educational development. The move to create content in local languages is envisioned to enhance this multilingual asset, contributing significantly to India’s journey towards becoming a developed nation by 2047, dubbed ‘Viksit Bharat’.
The government’s commitment to this cause has been evident over the past two years, with substantial progress in translating key educational materials for various fields such as Engineering, Medicine, Law, and both undergraduate and postgraduate courses through the Anuvadini AI-based App. These resources are accessible on the Ekumbh portal. Additionally, the school education ecosystem has been enriched with study materials in over 30 Indian languages available on DIKSHA, and competitive exams like JEE, NEET, and CUET are now offered in 13 Indian languages.
This groundbreaking initiative is expected to democratize education by making learning resources accessible in the mother tongue of millions of students. It acknowledges the diversity of India’s linguistic landscape and leverages it as a strength to build a more inclusive and equitable education system. By ensuring that students can study in their preferred Indian language, the government aims to remove language as a barrier to education, thus enabling a generation of students to learn, understand, and innovate in the language they know best.
Credits: Press Information Bureau