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Indian sign language to be introduced as a subject at secondary level: PM Modi

Narendra Modi

On the first anniversary of the new National Education Policy (NEP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually interacted with school and college students, principals and teachers from across the country. He said it is a crucial effort in the grand exercise of nation-building and assures the youth that the country supports their aspirations.

The NEP 2020 was launched on July 29, 2020, under the then Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

“India’s new National Education Policy is one of the major factors in the ‘mahayagna’ (great exercise) of nation-building,” the PM said.

India’s new National Education Policy

The policy will take into consideration the national interest of India while providing “digital, machine and AI-supported” learning to the students in the country. Furthermore, the NEP will also give importance to the mother tongue and local languages. PM Modi said he was happy that 14 engineering colleges in eight states are going to start studies in five Indian languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bangla.

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal

Apart from that, the interaction also found mention of the introduction of Indian Sign Language in schools now. PM Modi said, “Indian Sign language has been designated as a subject now. Students can opt to study this. It will promote Indian sign language and will help differently-abled people,” adding that this will help over 3 lakh differently-abled students in the country, who are dependent on the language for learning.

In the process, 1200 educational video programmes (for Class 1 to 12) have been made in Indian Sign Language. This will be available on the government’s portal diksha.gov.in. “How far we will go in the future depends on what kind of education we give to our youth today. I believe that India’s new National Education Policy is one of the biggest factors in nation-building,” Modi added.

The Indian Sign Language is used in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, by at least 70 lakh people. In the rest of the world, ASL or American Sign Language is used. According to a BBC report, currently, only around 700 schools across the country teach Indian Sign Language.

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