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MPs warn govt against ‘saffronisation’ of education

The MPs urged Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani to “battle” with the Finance Ministry to get more funds for education.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published: April 25, 2015 1:43:17 am
smriti irani, smriti irani news, hrd, human resource development, hrd ministry, hrd ministry news, india news, indian express news, indian express HRD Minister Smriti Irani at Parliament House. (Source: Express Photo by Anil Sharma)

The ‘saffronisation’ of education, focus on Sanskrit and Hindi and cut in key Central schemes for education were among the concerns expressed by MPs as Lok Sabha began its debate on grants for human resource development.

The MPs urged Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani to “battle” with the Finance Ministry to get more funds for education. While Sugata Bose of Trinamool Congress criticised the Centre for making bodies like ICHR “packed by ideologues rather than scholars”, BJD’s Tathagata Satpathy urged the government to encourage regional languages and accept English as the link language. “The link language cannot be any Indian language. English is no more a foreign language,” he said.

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“The Central government must invest money in creating infrastructure… Not buildings, roads and class rooms, but by bringing out books which have no religious tilt or involvement. No religion is greater or inferior to any other religion. It is all the same sham,” Satpathy said. Pointing out that the Minister has been passionate about Hindi and Sankrit, Satpathy said the government should let the children choose the language they want to learn. “Do not dump any language on them. I do not believe that there is any ‘Rashtra Bhasha’…,” he said. Satpathy added that the government should invest more on improving the quality of tools such as books and other education aids.

Criticising the NDA government for being “friendly towards corporates and hostile to farmers”, Bose said the PM had promised change. “We are still waiting for the qualitative change particularly in the field of education and human resource development.”

NCP’s Supriya Sule wanted the government to consider bringing back examination system instead of continuous and comprehensive evaluation system. Congress’s Sushmita Deb asked the HRD Minister to promise before the House that there will not be any saffronisation of education.

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