NEP has ended slave mindset, says Modi

By, New Delhi
Jul 30, 2023 01:22 AM IST

PM Modi has stated that the push for using mother tongue in education under the NEP (2020) will create a new generation free from the "mentality of slavery".

The push for using mother tongue in education under the National Education Policy (2020) has initiated a “new form of justice” in the country, which will help create a new generation that is free from “mentality of slavery”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister for education Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi on Saturday. (HT Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister for education Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi on Saturday. (HT Photo)

Inaugurating the Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Samagam at the newly-inaugurated Bharat Mandapam in Delhi, the PM said the world is looking at India as a “nursery of new possibilities”.

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“Education in the mother tongue is initiating a new form of justice for the students in India. It is a very significant step towards social justice,” he said as he emphasised that judging students on the basis of language instead of capabilities was the “biggest injustice”.

Developed nations of the world have an edge because of their local languages, the PM said, citing the example of most European nations that use their native languages.

“Although India has an array of established languages, they were presented as a sign of backwardness, and those who could not speak English were neglected and their talents were not recognised. As a result, the children of the rural areas remained most affected,” Modi said.

But the country has now begun to shun this belief, he said.

“The country has now begun to shun this belief with the advent of the National Educational Policy…Even at the UN, I speak in Indian language,” he said.

Under the new policy, even subjects like social science and engineering will be taught in Indian languages, he said.

“When the students are confident in a language, their skills and talent will emerge without any restrictions,” he said after releasing education and skill curriculum books translated into 12 Indian languages at the event held to mark the third anniversary of the introduction of NEP 2020.

The new policy advocates imparting education in regional Indian languages at both the school and higher education levels.

At the event, the PM announced that new books for about 130 subjects will soon be launched for classes 3 to 12 in 22 different languages.

“National Educational Policy will give due respect and credit to every language in the country,” the PM said, adding that it will “shut shops” of those who try to “politicise language for their selfish interests”.

In the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal, the PM said, the country needs an energetic new generation that is free from “mentality of slavery”, and eager to skill itself according to the needs of the 21st Century.

“NEP will play a big role in this,” he said.

Emphasising that among the various parameters of quality education, India’s big effort is for “equality”, the PM said, “Priority of NEP is that every youth of India should get the same education and the same opportunity for education… And this is not limited to opening schools. Equality should be extended to resources along with education. It means that every child should get options as per choice and capacity. No child is deprived of education due to place, class, region.”

“In the age of 5G, these modern schools will be a medium of modern education,” he said.

Citing the example of Eklavya Schools, where internet facilities in villages have helped students receive education through modes like DIKSHA, SWAYAM and Swayamprabha, the PM said, “Now, in India, the gap of resources needed for education is being covered rapidly.”

At the event, Modi also released the first installment of 630 crore for the upgradation of 6,207 existing schools under the Pradhan Mantri Schools for Rising India (PM-SHRI).

On steps taken to integrate vocational education with general education under the NEP 2020, the Prime Minister cited Atal Tinkering Labs where over 7.5 million students are learning about science and innovation. “Science is simplifying itself for everyone. It is these young scientists that will shape the future of the country by leading significant projects and turn India into a research hub of the world,” he said.

“Any reform requires courage, and the presence of courage leads to the birth of new possibilities,” the Prime Minister said.

The world is now viewing Indian education system with renewed respect alongside industry and start-up ecosystems, the PM said.

“Many countries are urging us to open IIT campuses in their own countries... Many global universities are willing to open their campuses in India due to the positive changes coming in the education ecosystem. Two Australian universities are about to open their campuses in Gujarat’s GIFT City,” he said. On July 6, the government announced that the first international campus of the Indian Institute of Technology will be set up in Tanzania; an announcement which was soon followed by a similar one on the second campus being set up in Abu Dhabi, on July 10.

Appealing to teachers and parents to prepare students for confident curiosity and flights of imagination, the PM said, “We have to keep an eye on the future and think with a futuristic mindset. We have to free the children from the pressure of books.”

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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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