Former chairperson of the ISRO, Kasturirangan is the current chairperson of the committee which formulated the New Education Policy (NEP) which is facing severe criticism from various states and groups because of the making Hindi language a compulsory language to learn by the students in the schools. When asked about making Hindi a compulsory language he said that it up to the states to decide and any question of imposing Hindi does not even arise. He further went on to explain that the policy has been revised for the first time which was made 25 years ago. 25 years ago there was no internet and but in today’s highly connected world every action creates ripples and affects everyone. The current NEP is a draft which is open for the public inputs. The main focus of the policy is on areas such as teachers’ training, student enrichment, management, and other operations and not on promoting the Hindi language across the nation.
The main aim of the NEP is to strengthen the education system so that our educational institutions can stand head to head with the institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Oxford on global scale and for this we are trying to segregate the universities into different areas based on their expertise in research and traditional curriculum based teachings and pedagogy. He further said that the aim of the NEP is to create around 200 institutions in the next 20 years on the lines of MIT, Harvard etc.
As far as the misunderstanding about the section on the language policy is concerned, he said, that the section has many dimensions which are related to how a child picks up a language, the early introduction of languages, and language comprehension capability. There are lots of other areas and dimensions to and we have tried to address as many as we can as we want it to be a very comprehensive enunciation of a policy for the languages. As far as three-language formula is concerned it is completely up to the states to decide.
When asked about the interference of the government in the creation of the policy he said that the committee was given complete freedom as the aim is to create the policy for the society and not the other way round. He said “at no point were they trying to tell us to do this or do that”.