Linguistic barrier to development must be broken through education in local languages: PM Modi

The Indian education system needs to break through linguistic barriers in order to ensure that those in rural areas or from poor homes are not deprived of opportunities to let their talent flourish, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

Addressing a webinar on education initiatives in the Union Budget on Wednesday, he said that the focus on learning in local languages was one of the most important improvements being brought through the new National Education Policy.

There was no lack of talent in the country, and those who knew only their own languages should not be excluded from India’s development journey. It was important to work in mission mode to ensure that the talents of those from rural areas or from poor families were not allowed to die, but were rather given opportunities to bloom, Mr. Modi said.

“For building an Atmanirbhar Bharat, it is important that the youth have self-confidence. Self-confidence comes when youth have faith in their education, skills and knowledge,” he said.

It was the responsibility of all academics and language experts to make sure that the best content in the country and the world was available in Indian languages, said Mr. Modi, adding that this was definitely possible in this era of technology. This must be done from primary to higher education, with content creation in Indian languages for all subjects, whether medical, engineering, technology or management, he said. The National Language Translation Mission was also key to ensuring this.

The Prime Minister noted that limiting knowledge and research was a big injustice to the country’s potential. In fact, opportunities were opening in sectors such as space, atomic energy and agriculture for talented youth.

Mr. Modi said that the Union Budget had broadened the government’s efforts to link education with employability and entrepreneurial capability. There was an emphasis on equity of access and institution building, he added, pointing to the National Research Foundation which was being set up with an earmarked budget of ₹50,000 crore.

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