Center plans 22 ‘bhasha kendras’ | Latest India News

The government has decided to set up language centers to prepare study materials and lessons for each of the 22 languages ​​in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, officials aware of the development said.

The centers, called bhasha kendraswill be established under the Indian Knowledge System (IKS) initiative of the Union Ministry of Education, they added.

The move comes at a time when the opposition accuses the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government of “Hindi imperialism”.

According to a senior official familiar with the matter, these language centers will comply with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which emphasizes the promotion of regional languages. “These bhasha kendras will promote national integration,” the official said, asking not to be named.

“We want students from Rajasthan to know the wisdom available in Tamil literature, or those from Assam to know the important literary works in Telugu. These bhasha kendras will help us achieve this,” the official said.

IKS national coordinator Ganti S Murthy said the centers will be given three main responsibilities.

First, they will prepare small booklets of 100-200 pages of IKS-related literature and manuscripts available in their designated languages. “Let’s say in Tamil, a booklet on the Siddha tradition or may on Bharatnatyam,” he said.

The centers will also translate these books into Sanskrit and English. “If we need people across the country to read and know literature in all Indian languages, we need to translate it into some linking languages. Therefore, we keep Sanskrit and English as the two liaison languages. Later they can also translate it into other languages,” Murthy said.

The second task of these centers will be to enrich their designated Indian languages ​​with modern science and social patterns, Murthy said. They will be asked to translate 1,000 pages of documents from other languages ​​into their designated language, he added.

“The idea is to prepare enough study material in Indian languages ​​so that a child does not have to learn English to gain knowledge. They should be able to understand and debate the most modern topics in regional languages,” Murthy said.

The third task will be to develop courses at the undergraduate level. “Each center will develop at least one course in its respective language at the undergraduate level which will be taught in tertiary institutions,” he added.

IKS has already solicited applications from educational, private and government institutions, NGOs, trusts and foundations to set up the centers. “We received overwhelming responses. Applications will be reviewed and results will be announced at the end of November. Each center will have two years to complete the task assigned to it,” said the ministry official quoted above.

Uma Devi, a professor of Tamil at the University of Delhi, said centers should prepare career-oriented and modern courses in these languages.

“We need to make these courses attractive so that more and more students choose them. Otherwise, students lose interest in language lessons these days,” she said.


    Fareeha Iftikhar is Senior Correspondent in the National Political Bureau of the Hindustan Times. She follows the Ministry of Education and covers the beat nationally for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different political issues.
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