National Education Policy: No dissent in panel, says Centre

All members had signed the alternative version, says Union HRD Ministry.

June 04, 2019 09:31 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 08:40 am IST - NEW DELHI

K. Kasturirangan. File

K. Kasturirangan. File

Anticipating trouble with the mandatory Hindi clause of the draft National Education Policy, all members of the committee which drafted it were asked to sign off on an alternative version even before the original draft was released, according to committee chairman K. Kasturirangan and senior officials at the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Several versions

“All [committee members’] signatures are there on this version,” said a senior official closely involved with the preparation of the draft policy, disputing reports that two members of the committee — K.M. Tripathy and Ram Shankar Kureel — had disagreed with the changed language.

The official confirmed that several alternative versions of the draft had been pre-approved even before the committee officially submitted it to the new HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on his first day in office on Friday.

Former ISRO chief Kasturirangan, who headed the drafting committee, also told The Hindu on Monday that alternative options had been approved and prepared.

The draft report was, in fact, originally submitted to former HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar more than five months ago, on December 15, 2018, as confirmed by the submission letter reproduced at the beginning of the document.

Javadekar’s denial

However, Mr. Javadekar denied that the NEP draft committee members had been asked to sign off on an alternative version without the mandatory Hindi clause while he was in charge of the Ministry. It was “baseless”, he told The Hindu .

The Ministry did not release the report until the Lok Sabha elections were completed, and the new government had taken over.

At a review meeting on Tuesday, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank asked officials to prepare an action plan on how the various Indian languages across the country can be developed in an integrated manner, according to a Ministry statement.

“We should also try to do further research in the wealth of knowledge hidden in our ancient texts and integrate them with modern day science, the Minister opined,” the statement said.

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