Bengaluru: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday that the draft National Education Policy (NEP) needs a “pragmatic” language policy. He said that it should give due importance to the mother tongue and ensure proficiency in other languages that would help children advance in a multilingual world.

Naidu was speaking at the inauguration of golden jubilee celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning on Sunday.

According to reports, Naidu said that it is time to rethink, re-imagine and re-invent the entire education system in India. He said that India is embarking on a major reform process and that the draft policy seeks to layout a path to make quality education accessible to all children and youth in the country.

He said that the education in India should equip the children and youth with knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the 21st century. He also added that the foundations of this structure should be strengthened.

There was an uproar in Karnataka against the new National Education Policy - 2019 just hours after it was made public. The reaction was towards what they called “imposition of Hindi” on non-Hindi speaking states.

The draft initially said that the students who wished to change one of their three languages in school could do so in Grade 6. According to the draft, the students in Hindi speaking states will have Hindi, English and one other modern regional language from other parts of the country. The non-Hindi speaking states will have Hindi, the regional language and English as their three languages.

Tamil Nadu was the first to react to the new draft. Politicians in Tamil Nadu spoke out against the three-language policy. Whereas in Karnataka, people took to Twitter to showcase their opposing views. They felt that the draft is virtually still imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.

The new draft of education policy did not mention the word Hindi but still insisted on students studying three languages. The focus lay on the fact that the students would be proficient in three languages. The students who wanted to change one of the three languages could change it in Grade 6 or Grade 7.