Teaching of Indian languages must be accessible, attractive
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Teaching of Indian languages must be accessible, attractive

July 23, 2023

Padma Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry says Indian languages foster unity in the country’s diverse cultural landscape

Mysore/Mysuru: Chairman of High-Powered Committee for the Promotion of Indian Languages, Union Ministry of Education, Padma Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry was the chief guest at CIIL’s 55th Foundation Day celebrations.

Speaking in the context of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Shastry pointed out the need to embrace technological advancements in language education. As technology evolves rapidly, he stressed the importance of harnessing its potential to enhance language teaching, testing and other aspects of language education. He proposed the establishment of the “Technology For, In, and Through Indian Languages (FIT) Summit,” a platform to discuss these issues with stakeholders, with CIIL at the helm.

Addressing the pressing concern of a shift towards English medium education among 10 percent of students in just two years, Shastry underscored the urgency to preserve multilingualism. With many younger individuals becoming increasingly monolingual, incentivising and making Indian language teaching more accessible and attractive are vital goals, he said.

He called upon CIIL to take up the mantle of language education, promotion and preservation in India, aiming to become a prominent name in the field of language research, gaining commercial popularity. Chamu Krishna Shastry envisioned languages as unifying forces, fostering unity in India’s diverse cultural landscape.

PM Modi’s vision of language

Highlighting the legacy of colonial rule in the division through language politics, Shastry stressed the need for unification through language, drawing inspiration from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of languages as a force to bring people together. He pointed out the historical use of multiple languages in India, with many manuscripts remaining untranslated due to the widespread understanding of various Indian languages.

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In the pursuit of unity, Shastry called for an increase in the common core vocabulary shared by all Indian languages, particularly incorporating new technology terms. He advocated for provisions allowing students to learn in any language across various fields of study, promoting curriculum availability in different languages to facilitate communication in diverse domains.

Additionally, Shastry emphasised the importance of fostering translation between Indian languages and utilising them as mediums for teaching technical subjects.

He encouraged language experts to not only focus on literature but also act as activists in realising the country’s interests.

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