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HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar held a closed-door meeting Wednesday with senior functionaries of the RSS and representatives of several affiliated outfits on the new national education policy, making this his first formal interaction with the Sangh since he took charge of his new portfolio this month.
According to sources, Javadekar interacted with members of Vidya Bharati, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, Sanskrit Bharati, Shiksha Bachao Andolan, Vigyan Bharati and Itihas Sankalan Yojana for close to six hours at Gujarat Bhawan.
RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, BJP president Amit Shah and Aniruddha Deshpande, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sampark Pramukh, were also present at the meeting.
Sources told The Indian Express that the meeting was held to share the Sangh’s inputs on the new education policy and to plan measures to “instil nationalism, pride and ancient Indian values in modern education”.
Earlier, the committee to formulate the new education policy, headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian, had received over 80,000 suggestions, including from RSS affiliates working in the education sector.
“The meeting was part of the government-organisational interface that was established after the Modi government came to power. Since Javadekar ji is new to the ministry, we updated him about the grassroot level challenges and the reforms required in the education sector. Social Justice Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram also attended for some time as their ministries deal with education of tribals, reserved castes and backward classes,” an RSS functionary said.
“We also asked him (Javadekar) to release the draft education policy in as many Indian languages as possible and he assured us that the Hindi version will be out in a few days and will be translated into more languages,” the functionary added.
Sources said that in the absence of a Hindi version, feedback on the draft education policy has not been received from a large section of people.
On the way ahead, an RSS sources said, “Delegations of organisations affiliated to the RSS and working in the education sector will now meet Javadekar separately in the coming weeks and brief him about their suggestions related to education policy.”
The meeting comes against the backdrop of the HRD Ministry seeking a feedback on the draft education policy that was made public earlier this month, when Smriti Irani was HRD Minister. The RSS was rumoured to be upset with the draft policy as it did not include inputs provided by its affiliate organisations at the time of national grassroot-level consultations.
Javadekar, after assuming charge, extended the feedback deadline from July 31 to August 15. His first formal outing as a minister in the Capital was at an event organised by the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal on the new education policy, held in the second week of July.
Javadekar did not respond to a message seeking comment.