Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
The Hon'ble Minister for Human Resource and Development,
Government of India, New Delhi.
Sub: Draft National Education Policy, 2019 - Request for translation in
all Indian languages and extension of time to respond - Reg
I, S. Venkatesan, Member of Parliament, Representing Madurai Constituency and President, Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers’ and Artists’ Association, place the following for your kind consideration and necessary action.
Draft National Education Policy, 2019 (DNEP) was placed in public domain in Hindi and English on 1st June, 2019 and the people of India were asked to respond on or before 30th June, 2019.
DNEP running to about 484 pages is not available in languages of States including Tamil. It gives a wrong message that as though only people familiar with Hindi and English are asked to respond and the response from people not familiar with Hindi and English is not welcomed.
The Committee having signed the document on 15th December, 2018 waited till 31st May, 2019 to submit the same to the MHRD. The reason for withholding the document for five and half months by the committee is unexplained.
The Government having failed to question the committee for unreasonable delay in handing over the document is forcing the people to respond in thirty days. Government of various States in India is also requested to submit their response within the same period.
It is painful to note that the Government did not follow the democratic process under the Federal Constitution in forming a committee to evolve a National Education Policy.
Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) is the highest policy making body with regard to education. States are represented by their Education Ministers in this Board. CABE should have met to discuss the Constitution of a body to evolve a National Education Policy. A status report on education must have been released before such an exercise. This democratic process was not followed in constituting the Committee to Draft a National Education Policy.
DNEP proposes structural changes both in school and college education. It proposes to dismantle the existing system and bring in a new system. The changes proposed are far reaching and there is apprehension that many of the proposals are against the interest of the people belonging to the socially and educationally backward classes.
Proposals to establish a National Education Commission (RSA) with the Prime Minister as head with wide powers, is against the federal spirit of the Constitution of India. Various proposals in DNEP are in violation of various provisions of the Constitution of India.
In Tamil Nadu, Educationists, Students, Teachers, Parents, Writers and various organizations including TamilNadu Writers’ and Artists’ association have held wide discussion on the arbitrary nature of asking the response from people by the Government of India for such a crucial issue that will affect the coming generations. To draw the attention of the Government of India to the demand for translation of the DNEP in all the Indian languages and extension of the time to deliberate, seminars and various forms of agitation were held through the State. Several representations with the demand for translation and extension of time have been sent to the email address provided by the MHRD.
Various departments of the State Government including School Education, Higher Education, Health, Law, Social Welfare need to study the document in detail to understand it's implication, have consultation with the stake holders and then submit their report to the Head of the Government for consolidation and submission as the Response of the respective State Government. This cannot and should not be done in haste. The given time of thirty days is surely not enough to complete this task in just and fair manner.
For the stake holders to respond the DNEP is not available in the State's Language. It is arbitrary to demand response from people without giving the document in their language and adequate time to deliberate and respond.
For the reasons stated above, I earnestly request the Hon'ble Minister for Human Resource and Development, Government of India to kindly make arrangement to release the document atleast in the 22 languages listed in Schedule Eight of the Constitution of India and provide adequate time, not less than six months from the date of release of DNEP in all languages, for the people to respond.
With Best Regards