Former chairperson of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Kasturirangan, who’s the chairman of the committee that created the draft New Education Policy (NEP), spoke to Amandeep Shukla about the future of education in India and the debate surrounding the alleged imposition of Hindi inside the original textual content of the draft policy. Edited excerpts:
Q. What is the general gist, the general message at the coronary heart of the draft policy?
We are formulating this policy, which they may finalize after inputs from the general public after around 25 years of the closing policy. Twenty-five years in the past, while the policy becomes formulated, it turned into not even the start of the Internet generation. This is the primary coverage inside the technology of the Internet that has high-quality implications from the various aspects of countrywide and global endeavors, especially in education — in the context of instructors’ schooling, pupil enrichment, control, and other operations… This is the time for new coverage to cope with these trends.
Q. Do you suspect we can have our institutions may be in the pinnacle one hundred inside the global in the coming years?
We are looking to make sure that we have a better schooling system with the intention to come up beneath 3 categories. First, you have studies universities — these will have coaching as a crucial vicinity but studies will be the dominant activity. About a hundred to 2 hundred inside the subsequent two decades need to be like what you have got in Stanford and MIT… Second, you will have coaching universities with studies. We need 2000-3000 universities of this kind. The third is faculties, approximately 20,000, just like network faculties in the United States. They can be undergraduate colleges however with fairly sturdy instructional curriculum and pedagogy…
Q. This controversy over language seems to have overtaken many essential troubles you’ve got cited within the report?
If you examine that whole segment on languages policy, it has many dimensions related to how an infant alternative up to a language, the early advent of languages, and language comprehension capability. Then there’s the question of the 3-language components. There is a query of classical languages, Schedule 8 languages, and there’s a question of making translation and books in all the local languages. There are several points we’ve got addressed because we wanted it to be a very complete enunciation of a policy for the languages.
Within that changed into the three-language components. The three language method applicable to the states at the beginning, it’s far relevant even now…
We have taken an overarching view that states will have the essential prerogative to decide on the choice of languages…This is the spirit of the language coverage bankruptcy. It had a little misstep, with that particular paragraph, in comparison to the general spirit of the language coverage. We had an alternative formulation, that changed into also accredited… There isn’t any question of coercion, it’s miles for the states to determine. The question of Hindi being imposed does not rise up.
Q. Did the committee determine to change the components or became their advice by using the authorities?
The committee did it unilaterally. One issue is outstanding — the committee has been given all of the freedom to decide the formula of the policy. I must compliment the system, the authorities; at no point had been they attempting to tell us to do that or do this.