ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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NEP 2020 and the Language-in-Education Policy in India

The National Education Policy of India 2020 is a significant policy document laying the national-level strategy for the new millennium. It is ambitious and claims universal access to quality education as its key aim, keeping with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations Agenda 2030. One of the highlights of the NEP is its emphasis on mother tongue education at the primary levels in both state- and privately owned schools. The present paper critically assesses the NEP 2020, primarily in relation to the language-in-education policy. The paper argues that it presents a “contradiction of intentions,” aspiring towards inclusion of the historically disadvantaged and marginalised groups on the one hand, while practising a policy of aggressive privatisation and disinvestment in public education on the other.

Language as People’s History

Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages by Peggy Mohan, New Delhi: India Viking, 2021; pp 352, ₹599

The Story of My Tamil

Caste–class privilege breeds a comfortable ignorance of an integral part of any city’s culture—its language.

Of Sounds, Words and Sentences

The dynamics of sounds, words and sentences embellish our language. Recursion and structure dependency along with various other factors affect our language. The article goes into the nitty-gritties of the uniqueness of language, adding new words to language and its usage.

Politics of Populism

Populism in very general terms could be defined in terms of a demagogue choosing to play to the gallery. Such a demagogue selectively tells people what they want to hear. In populism, the communication assumes a skewed form where a political leader needs to speak to the people who, in turn, need to...

Learning and Language

In low-cost private schools in India, English as a medium of instruction attracts children of poorly educated parents with a low-income background. A primary survey in Delhi and the National Capital Region finds that mediating primary-level education through an unfamiliar language poses language barriers and adversely affects the learning outcome. The agency in using English for communication is limited. The learning deficit is undetected through successive grades in the primary level due to translation- and memorisation-based teaching processes, and focus on textbook-based exercises. The study finds that parents do not get a fair exchange in return for committing their limited resources towards education.

Examining the Linguistic Dimension of Draft National Education Policy, 2019

The Kasturirangan Committee’s framing of the draft National Education Policy, 2019 seems to be rather ill-informed linguistically. Despite its politically correct rhetoric, most of its recommendations are linguistically unsound and simply unpractical.

Language and Translation in a Multilingual Nation

A Multilingual Nation: Translation and Language Dynamic in India edited by Rita Kothari, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018; pp VII + 365, ₹1,495.

What Are the Implications of the English-language Education Policy of the Andhra Pradesh Government?

Led by the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party government, Andhra Pradesh has recently announced its decision to offer English as the medium of instruction in government-run schools across the state. While supporters of the move hail it as a landmark decision to correct the historical injustice meted out to the marginalised, critics fear the potential threat to Telugu language and culture.

Examining the Draft National Education Policy, 2019

This paper on the draft National Education Policy 2019, examines its timeframe and the possible implications of its implementation in terms of the overlapping categories of gender, caste, and class identities. It also focuses briefly on issues of language and the way in which historical precedents are invoked. This is followed by a discussion on the wide-ranging changes envisaged in higher education. I suggest that the document needs far greater scrutiny than it has received so far, and that a hasty implementation will have grave consequences, diluting if not reversing the serious and painstaking attempts that have been made to democratise the contexts, and contents of education for decades.

How is Multilingual Freelance Journalism Transforming the Media Landscape in India?

Changes in the technological landscape and the political economy of news media have opened up new spaces for freelance journalism, particularly in multilingual spaces. Freelance journalists occupy a precarious position due to their place within neo-liberal logics, but at the same time, are less beholden to many of the political, social, and commercial pressures constraining reporting and editing in big media houses. Biographical sketches of three Chennai-based freelancers demonstrate different possibilities of engaging as a freelancer across languages.

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