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.

English Language Education in India: How Aspirations for Social Mobility Shape Pedagogy

While English is not the official language of India, it has become the language of the ruling elite. Fluency in English is extremely sought after and brings with it the potential for social mobility to the underprivileged sections of society. But is an English-medium education the solution? */ */

Breaking the Chaturvarna System of Languages

The Indian language policy is informed by a pull towards unilingual identity, inspired by the European model of nation state that is predicated on the homogeneity of its people. Language hegemony works at two tiers in India—at the state and the centre. The Constitution fails to pay more than lip service to the linguistic plurality and multilingual ethos of the peoples of India and has created a chaturvarna (four-tier order) of languages, with Sanskrit, Hindi, the scheduled, and the non-scheduled languages occupying various rungs of the ladder. English—the language of the conquerors—being outside the chaturvarna system has emancipatory potential.

Gender Agenda

In grammatical terms there is no gender system in English, as with many other languages like Bangla, Turkish, Korean and Thai--but unlike Hindi, which boasts grammatical gender in all its glory.

The Work of Theory

Tackling the question of how to recalibrate the relationship between history and theory in our favour without falling into the trap of either an unqualified universalism or a naïve historicism, this article proposes that we move from the position of being a critic of Western theory to that of being a composer and assembler of a new theory from different sources and different histories.

Heroines of Little Kingdoms

Draupadi among Rajputs, Muslims and Dalits: Rethinking India’s Oral and Classical Epics by Alf Hiltebeitel; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001; pp xiv + 560, Rs 693.

Sanskrit, English and Dalits

Unlike Sanskrit, there are no scriptural injunctions against the learning of English; English is theoretically as accessible to dalits and women as it is to the 'dwijas'. However, the brahmanical classes have monopolised the use of English (as also other symbols of western modernity) and have justified the denial of the same to the dalits, sometimes even reading their 'faulty' use of the language as acts of resistance/rejection of colonial modernity.
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