Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday (10 January) effectively nipped in the bud a brewing controversy over a story in Indian Express which claimed that the draft National Education Policy (NEP) has recommended making Hindi mandatory till Class 8. The report in the newspaper made the claim based on an unnamed source.
Senior policy advisers in the HRD Ministry also took to Twitter calling the report as "absolutely despicable, horrendously wrong reporting".
The Union HRD minister also released a short video rubbishing it.
The K Kasturirangan panel has reportedly submitted the final draft of the NEP to the HRD Ministry. The ministry will frame a schedule for accepting and implementing the policy. The report is expected to propose a radical policy solution and its scope covers elementary to college education in both rural and urban India.
In June 2017, the Union government had constituted a nine-member committee headed by space scientist and former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan and tasked it with the responsibility of preparing a draft NEP focused on revamping India’s education policy.
Besides Kasturirangan, the panel includes Fields Medal winner and internationally acclaimed mathematician Manjul Bhargava from Princeton University, Vasudha Kamat, former vice chancellor of Mumbai's SNDT University, former IAS officer K J Alphonse Kanamthanam. Alphonse had played a key role in helping Kerala's Kottayam and Ernakulam districts achieve 100 per cent literacy, sources said.
The panel was originally directed to submit its report by December 2017, but was given an extension till March 2018. It was later extended till August 2018 and received another extension of two months.