RSS makes new attempt to put its stamp on education policy

Revival of Sanskrit, teaching in vernacular languages and a national education commission among steps sought by two RSS-affiliated organizations


HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said the NEP (national education policy) is beyond Congress and BJP and everyone should contribute to the making of the new policy. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said the NEP (national education policy) is beyond Congress and BJP and everyone should contribute to the making of the new policy. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: With a new human resource development (HRD) minister in charge, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Tuesday made a renewed attempt to put its stamp on the new national education policy, expected to be unveiled in the coming months.

Revival of Sanskrit, teaching in vernacular languages and a national education commission for administration of the sector is among the steps two RSS-affiliated organizations want the Union government to incorporate in the policy.

Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal (BSM) and Bharat Niti discussed the proposed new education policy with HRD minister Prakash Javadekar and demanded that while improving the quality of education, “national character” should not be neglected.

“The new education policy should be nationalist in its character,” Mukul Kanitkar, organising secretary of the BSM, said.

Kanitkar said the draft new education policy, which has been made public for public feedback, does not support the English language exclusively, but promotes vernacular languages.

P. Muralidhar Rao, a general secretary of the BJP and one of the promoters of Bharat Niti, an RSS think tank, said the focus must be on Indian languages because English would lose its attraction in the next 30 or 40 years.

“We feel that education must be learners-centric and taught in vernacular languages,” Kanitkar said.

Both the organizations demanded a reduction of bureaucratic control over education. Salaries of school teachers must be raised to attract talented people to the profession.

Kanitkar demanded the formation of a national commission for overseeing education.

Javadekar steered clear of any political statement. He said the two organizations wanted to meet him and he had responded. If any other ideological groups seek to meet him to discuss the education policy, he will oblige them too.

“NEP (national education policy) is beyond Congress and BJP and everyone should contribute to the making of the new policy,” Javadekar said.

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