Explained: Three Language Formula

Mains Paper 2 : Health & Education |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Three Language Formula

Mains level : Features of New Education Policy


News

Background

  • The union government released a draft NPE, a report prepared by a committee headed by space scientist K. Kasturirangan.
  • Its reference to mandatory teaching of Hindi in non-Hindi speaking States set off a political storm in Tamil Nadu, which is traditionally opposed to the compulsory study of Hindi.
  • The govt. sought to neutralize the hostile reaction by dropping the controversial reference to Hindi.

Backdrop to the Hindi imposition row

  • The State has been traditionally opposed to any attempt to introduce Hindi as a compulsory language of learning or administration.
  • The origin of the linguistic row, however, goes back to the debate on official language.
  • In the Constituent Assembly, Hindi was voted as the official language by a single vote. However, it added that English would continue to be used as an associate official language for 15 years.
  • The Official Languages Act came into effect on the expiry of this 15-year period in 1965.
  • This was the background in which the anti-Hindi agitation took place.
  • However, as early as in 1959 Nehru had given an assurance in Parliament that English would continue to be in use as long as non-Hindi speaking people wanted it.

The Three Language Formula

  • It is commonly understood that the three languages referred to are Hindi, English and the regional language of the respective States.
  • Though the teaching of Hindi across the country was part of a long-standing system, it was crystallized into a policy in an official document only in the NEP, 1968.
  • This document said regional languages were already in use as the medium of education in the primary and secondary stages.
  • At the secondary stage, State governments should adopt and vigorously implement the three-language formula.
  • It included the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking States.

For non-Hindi speaking States

  • In such States Hindi should be studied along with the regional language and English.
  • It added: Suitable courses in Hindi and/or English should also be available in universities and colleges with a view to improving the proficiency of students in these languages up to the university standards.

To Promote Hindi

  • The NPE 1968 said every effort should be made to promote the language and that in developing Hindi as the link language.
  • Article 351 of the Constitution provides for Hindi as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.
  • The establishment, in non-Hindi States, of colleges and other institutions of higher education which use Hindi, as the medium of education should be encouraged.
  • Incidentally, the NPE 1986 made no change in the 1968 policy on the three-language formula and the promotion of Hindi and repeated it verbatim.

Tamil Nadu’s stand on this

  • Tamil Nadu has been traditionally opposed to any attempt to introduce Hindi as a compulsory language of learning or administration.
  • The origin of the linguistic row, however, goes back to the debate on official language.
  • TN leaders does not oppose the voluntary learning of Hindi and cite the unhindered work of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, established in Chennai by Mahatma Gandhi in 1918.
  • Also, there is no bar on private schools, most of them affiliated to the CBSE offering Hindi.
  • The State has been following the two-language formula for many decades, under which only English and one regional language are compulsory in schools.

English, the only link

  • An important aspect of the opposition to Hindi imposition is that many in Tamil Nadu see it as a fight to retain English.
  • English is seen as a bulwark against Hindi as well as the language of empowerment and knowledge.
  • There is an entrenched belief that the continued attempts to impose Hindi are essentially driven by those who want to eliminate English as the country’s link language.
Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.
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