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Bhasha Sangam Program : Celebration of Linguistic Diversity

Bhasha Sangam Program : Celebration of Linguistic Diversity

Relevance

  • GS 2|| Governance || Human Development || Education

Why in News?

  • The Department of School Education & Literacy has initiated Bhasha Sangam Programme to provide multilingual exposure to students in Indian Languages
  • This initiative, which is a part of the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme, was launched on November 22, 2018 and will continue till December 21, 2018

 Bhasha Sangam Programme

  • The Bhasha Sangam is an initiative under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ which aims to make the students aware about the unique cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of our country.
  • In order to celebrate the unique characteristic of our country, Bhasha Sangam provides an opportunity for schools and educational institution to provide multilingual exposure to students in Indian Languages.
  • The objective is to familiarize every child with simple dialogues in all the 22 languages under Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India.
  • They will be taking up one language on each working day, to enhance linguistic tolerance and promote national integration.
  • The initiative has been widely received and accepted by States and UTs in a very positive manner and schools are introducing five simple and commonly used sentences as per the convenience of students.

 Schedule VIII of the Constitution

  • The Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 official languages of the Republic of India ((1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri)
  • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Sindhi language was added in 1967. Thereafter, three more languages viz., Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992. Subsequently Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004.
  • A candidate appearing in an examination conducted for the public service is now entitled to use any of the listed 22 languages as the medium to answer the paper.

 Lingual provisions

  • Section 29(2)(F) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 states that “medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be in the child’s mother tongue”.
  • The National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 emphasises the importance of imparting primary education in the mother tongue of the child.

Since education is in the Concurrent List, States have the liberty to decide the medium of instruction in schools.

 Three Language Formula

  • The NCF also states that the ‘Three Language Formula’ is an attempt to address the challenges and opportunities of the linguistic situation in India.
  • As per the ‘Three Language Formula’ the first language to be studied, must be the mother tongue or the regional language.
  • In the case of Hindi speaking States, children learn a language not spoken in their area.
  • Sanskrit, may also be studied as a modern Indian language in addition to these languages.

 Conclusion

  • Training language skills in students will definitely help build their career and create confidence to work anywhere in the country having a decent hold on diverse languages of the respective states.
  • Bhasha Sangam marks the unique symphony of languages of our country and is an expression of our shared dreams, hopes and aspirations for one India.

 Additional Info- Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat

  • It was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 31st October, 2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • Through this innovative measure, the knowledge of the culture, traditions and practices of different States & UTs will lead to an enhanced understanding and bonding between the States, thereby strengthening the unity and integrity of India.
  • All States and UTs will be covered under the programme. There will be pairing of States/UTs at national level and these pairings will be in effect for one year, or till the next round of pairings.

The activity will be very useful that will connect people through exchanges in areas of culture, tourism, language, education, trade, etc. and citizens will be able to experience the cultural diversity of a much larger number of States/UTs while realising that India is one.

 Mains Question

  • Explain, Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat Programme.