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Language Policy
for a
New India
Sankrant Sanu
DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
भा
षा
नी
ति
Part 1: Myths about English-
medium education
The cultural impact of language policy
DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
भा
षा
नी
ति
Myth: The “World” is English-medium
Fact: Global Reality is Multilingual
• 91.5% of the world does not speak E...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Are the richest countries English-speaking?
• All of the top 20 richest countries by GDP/capita provide
access...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Fact: A language becomes “modern”
• Hebrew-medium Technion University in Israel is ranked #1
for technology in...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Multi-nationals already operate for multi-
lingual world
• Global Reality is Multilingual (see pie chart below...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Is Business and Professional Success
Linked to English?
• Of top 1000 MNC’s in Asia, 792
are from Japan, South...
भा
षा
नी
ति
School Location Ranking Language
Tsinghua University China #2 in China,
#15 (Asia)
Full-Time MBA (Chinese)
Par...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Part 2: Critical need for a new
approach in India
Systematic versus haphazard language growth
DRAFT - V1 - 06....
भा
षा
नी
ति
Declining language proficiency in India –
both, English and Indian languages
• India slipping from 14 to 21 in...
भा
षा
नी
ति
English-medium privilege in India is
engineered
• State policy creates English-medium privilege
• People don’t...
भा
षा
नी
ति
The crucial need for intervention – Economy
not “heritage”
• Prakritization – the process of using Indian lang...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Soft power of language
• Language carries and projects culture
• Major push by world civilizations for their l...
भा
षा
नी
ति
How English-obsession holds back India’s
computer literacy
China India
Literacy 95% 74%
English literacy 0.73%...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Continued English language privilege in
India’s Institutions
•UPSC Examinations
• English-language comprehensi...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Consequences of Current System
• Cost of re-education to a different language for higher
studies.
• Does a chi...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Part 3: Policy Recommendations
A comprehensive and nationally coordinated policy for all languages
DRAFT - V1 ...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Aims of the New Language Policy - 1
•Boost the economy with broad-based access to
professional education in Pr...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Aims of the New Language Policy - 2
• A national Sanskrit-based technical vocabulary to strengthen
Indian lang...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Use European Union Language Policy as
template
• India is bigger than all of Europe, with 1.25 billion people ...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Indian union
• Each state to have full fledged engineering, medicine, law, including
courts in their own langu...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Every Child in their Mother Tongue
DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
Enabling a complete ecosystem for Prakrits
भा
षा
नी
ति
A Sanskrit-based Technical
Vocabulary
• Apart from Technology resources, India also has classical
Sanskrit as ...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Creating Indian Language Professional
Education
•Engineering, medicine, MBA in Indian languages
• IIM’s, IIT’s...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Language in the Education System –
(i) School level
•2-language formula at Primary level:
• Prakrit compulsory...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Language in the Education System –
(ii) Higher Education
• Higher education in all disciplines to be made avai...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Script Unification
• Scripts have evolved based on technology and political
expedience.
• Most Indian language...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Government Publications and
Communications
• Central Government websites, publications and
communications
• Ma...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Private Sector Compliance
•Product labeling - mandatory Indian language
labeling
• Medicines, Films, Food prod...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Respect for Regional Dialects
•Let states recognize additional Indian languages and
dialects
• Konkani, Marwar...
भा
षा
नी
ति
Adapting “Indian English”
• Standardizing Roman transliteration of Indian languages
• Spell checkers, other to...
bhashaneeti.org
DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
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Language policy for a new india v1

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This describes a new language policy for India

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Language policy for a new india v1

  1. 1. Language Policy for a New India Sankrant Sanu DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  2. 2. भा षा नी ति Part 1: Myths about English- medium education The cultural impact of language policy DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  3. 3. भा षा नी ति Myth: The “World” is English-medium Fact: Global Reality is Multilingual • 91.5% of the world does not speak English as a native OR second language! DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  4. 4. भा षा नी ति Are the richest countries English-speaking? • All of the top 20 richest countries by GDP/capita provide access to engineering/professional education in the mass languages of the people. • Only 4 of the top 20 richest are English-speaking countries On the other hand… • 18 of the poorest 20 countries don’t provide access to higher and professional education in the common native language • 6 of the poorest 20 countries use English-medium higher education exclusively versus only 4 of the 20 richest DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  5. 5. भा षा नी ति Fact: A language becomes “modern” • Hebrew-medium Technion University in Israel is ranked #1 for technology innovation in challenging conditions • Hebrew was a dead language for 2000 years before being revived 50 years ago • It is ranked #18 worldwide for Computer Science On the other hand… • English-medium IITs in India is not even ranked in the top 100 worldwide • English-medium IISc in India is ranked between 50 and 100 in Computer Science. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014 Political will and policy
  6. 6. भा षा नी ति Multi-nationals already operate for multi- lingual world • Global Reality is Multilingual (see pie chart below). • Corporates have already adapted their business strategy to ‘Internationalization’ & ‘Localization’ in global marketplace. • Computing is already moving toward software development in various human languages, and multilingual user interfaces. • The future is seamless multilingual computing and business support. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014 This is a Microsoft presentation. India is not taking advantage of this multi-lingual emphasis of multi-nationals
  7. 7. भा षा नी ति Is Business and Professional Success Linked to English? • Of top 1000 MNC’s in Asia, 792 are from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan. • These companies internally use their own languages • The top management of these companies have usually studied in their own languages of their degrees! • Their core employees did their engineering, etc. in Japanese, Korean, Chinese. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  8. 8. भा षा नी ति School Location Ranking Language Tsinghua University China #2 in China, #15 (Asia) Full-Time MBA (Chinese) Part-Time MBA (Chinese) International MBA (English) Waseda Business School Japan #2 in Japan, #33 (Asia) Japanese or English. GSAPS is also at the forefront of innovation in the use of information technology and in bilingualism. Seoul National University Korea #1 in Korea Korean with some English. Dongguk University Korea Buddhist University Korean. The CEO of Samsung Corporation studied in Dongguk in Korean medium. COMAS Israel Largest program in Israel Hebrew Instituto de Emprasa Spain #4 in the world Spanish HEC Paris France #1 in Europe French (Bi-lingual option available) SDA Bocconi Italy Largest in Italy Executive MBA in Italian Some top non-English Business Schools worldwide DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  9. 9. भा षा नी ति Part 2: Critical need for a new approach in India Systematic versus haphazard language growth DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  10. 10. भा षा नी ति Declining language proficiency in India – both, English and Indian languages • India slipping from 14 to 21 in international rankings of English language proficiency among non-native English speakers. • Yet, the rush to English-medium schools grows in India – even where there is no English spoken in home environment. • Rush to English-medium producing school graduates who are linguistic cripples • They can express themselves neither in their own language nor with fluency in English. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  11. 11. भा षा नी ति English-medium privilege in India is engineered • State policy creates English-medium privilege • People don’t “want” to study in English-medium but the rush is because • Massive government-run higher education sector privileges English • High economic value courses, engineering, medicine, MBA exclusively in English • Government websites, higher education website, resources, largely in English • Explicit policies set forth in the infamous Macaulay minute have not been reversed • The myth that the rest of the world operates likes this when it doesn’t DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  12. 12. भा षा नी ति The crucial need for intervention – Economy not “heritage” • Prakritization – the process of using Indian languages across all disciplines and fora. • Prakritization will boost the economy and maximizing our human resource development. • It will capitalize on and project soft power. • It will create stronger, more relevant emphases in social sciences • It is a futuristic step that capitalizes on the scientific nature of Indian languages on the advantages of Sanskrit. • Language policy based only on “preserving heritage” is backward looking, and will lead to the death of Indian languages. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  13. 13. भा षा नी ति Soft power of language • Language carries and projects culture • Major push by world civilizations for their languages • China has a massive scholarship program for foreign students to learn Mandarin • France funds and project using Alliance Francaise • Saudi Arabia funds Middle East and massive push for Arabic studies in its circles of influence • US and UK project soft power via Anglicization • Fund international awards and created native “celebrities” • Arundhati Roy gets “Bookers”, Pankaj Mishra, $150K Yale awards • Ford Foundation funds research for how English yields better salaries in India • Goal is to keep India and its intellectuals in the Anglo-Saxon cultural orbit • India not capitalizing on “pull” generated by yoga/new-age movement and Indian film industry DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  14. 14. भा षा नी ति How English-obsession holds back India’s computer literacy China India Literacy 95% 74% English literacy 0.73% 20% (5% fluent) Internet Users 40% 11% DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014 • In China, computer usage is learned in Chinese. • In India, to be computer literate you first have to be English-literate. • India’s English-obsession has created unnecessary barriers for computer learning.
  15. 15. भा षा नी ति Continued English language privilege in India’s Institutions •UPSC Examinations • English-language comprehension section compulsory. • Move to make UPSC exam English-only in 2013 was backed-out after public outcry. •The Armed Forces • Officer Cadre is English-speaking while lower rungs are Indian language speakers – language apartheid. •The Legal System • Prakrits only in lower courts – mainly English in higher courts. • Law is codified in English and its idiom. Judicial Reform must include language re-standardization. • Central government laws and policies framed in English DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  16. 16. भा षा नी ति Consequences of Current System • Cost of re-education to a different language for higher studies. • Does a child in Japan or South Korea or China face this? • Massive underdevelopment of Human Resources. • English-obsession holds back India’s Computer literacy • Keeps India poor and erodes self-confidence of the masses • Declining Language proficiency in India – both, English and Indian languages! • The world asks – “English or Hinglish? Which will India choose? • Haphazard versus Systematic language policy • Continuation of colonization through language. • Inability to project India’s own soft power – lost opportunities. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  17. 17. भा षा नी ति Part 3: Policy Recommendations A comprehensive and nationally coordinated policy for all languages DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  18. 18. भा षा नी ति Aims of the New Language Policy - 1 •Boost the economy with broad-based access to professional education in Prakrits without language discrimination. •Spread English as a 2nd language in Prakrit-medium schools, remove glass ceiling of English-medium education. •Equal access for Prakrit-medium candidates in all civil services and judiciary. •Strengthen the Prakrits’ global competitiveness via national-level co-ordination. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  19. 19. भा षा नी ति Aims of the New Language Policy - 2 • A national Sanskrit-based technical vocabulary to strengthen Indian languages, and deepen linkages with related civilizations to tap classical knowledge bases. • Create an environment conducive to cross-pollination between Indian languages based on the common Sanskrit foundation. • Remove barriers to learning multiple Indian languages (such as different scripts) in order to expand the reading base and encourage interoperability. • Facilitate study and research of the social and political sciences in Indian languages in order to balance the dominant Western viewpoint and control of these disciplines. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  20. 20. भा षा नी ति Use European Union Language Policy as template • India is bigger than all of Europe, with 1.25 billion people vs 750 million • Indian languages have a bigger base of native speakers • European Union recognizes 24 official languages, all public communication, laws released in all the languages • Each country has engineering, medicine, law, business in its own languages • Yet, there is a European parliament and legal system that functions well • Internally European Union conducts business in German, French and English. • Most European languages draw on Latin vocabulary, as Indian languages draw on Sanskrit DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  21. 21. भा षा नी ति Indian union • Each state to have full fledged engineering, medicine, law, including courts in their own language with national coordination of common technical vocabulary • Central laws should be released in all Indian languages, drawing on this Sanskrit-based common vocabulary • Language translation services should be available in all courts and Supreme Court so pleadings can be done in any official language of choice. • The common Sanskrit vocabulary should aim towards transitioning towards Sanskrit as the language of the central government with Hindi used on a transitional basis. • Common script and technical vocabulary will lead to higher interoperability DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  22. 22. भा षा नी ति Every Child in their Mother Tongue DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014 Enabling a complete ecosystem for Prakrits
  23. 23. भा षा नी ति A Sanskrit-based Technical Vocabulary • Apart from Technology resources, India also has classical Sanskrit as a Cultural resource to support language diversity. • Sanskrit is a meta-language – a platform to support multilingual civilization. • Sanskrit is being used as a language for semantic networks (to express “meaning”) in Computer Science • Standardization of technical vocabulary for the sciences and humanities across all regional languages. • Sanskrit and Prakrits mutually enhance one another and create an ecosystem. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  24. 24. भा षा नी ति Creating Indian Language Professional Education •Engineering, medicine, MBA in Indian languages • IIM’s, IIT’s, Engineering Colleges, Medical colleges • Have parallel local language-medium instruction on same campus •Equal access in all competitive examinations CAT, JEE, UPSC, Defence services, the Bar, etc. •Develop an international Sanskrit-based technical vocabulary • Having a vocabulary and translation institute • Words in English can be parenthetical • Invite scholars from Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  25. 25. भा षा नी ति Language in the Education System – (i) School level •2-language formula at Primary level: • Prakrit compulsory with either English or Sanskrit as 2nd • Computer Literacy through native Prakrit language •3-language proficiency at High School level: • Fully functional in at least one Prakrit • Basic spoken Sanskrit and grammar • Functional English with emphasis on reading comprehension and writing vs literature • Curriculum includes common structure and introduction to all Indian languages •Social Studies at Secondary School level • Use Sanskrit terminology as primary DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  26. 26. भा षा नी ति Language in the Education System – (ii) Higher Education • Higher education in all disciplines to be made available in the Prakrits. • All diplomas, bachelors degrees and graduate degrees must demonstrate subject-specific proficiency in a Prakrit. • Sanskrit as an optional subject for technical, professional education. • Engineering & Medicine to use English/Latin technical terms with parenthetical Sanskrit equivalents. • Sanskrit a compulsory subject for all subjects related to humanities such as law, sociology, political science, journalism, history, etc. • Humanities must use Sanskrit/Prakrit terminology as primary. • Unified Prakrit-English textbooks – English terms to have Prakrit equivalents in parentheses and vice versa. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  27. 27. भा षा नी ति Script Unification • Scripts have evolved based on technology and political expedience. • Most Indian languages are based on a common underlying ‘varna-mala’. Like European languages, they can easily adapt to common script. • Move towards a common script will • Make it easy to learn multiple Indian languages • Promote cross-language interoperability • Promote national unification • Options for a Common Script: • Enhanced Devanagari++ • An older, ancestor Indic script not in use currently • A newly invented script best tailored to new technological devices DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  28. 28. भा षा नी ति Government Publications and Communications • Central Government websites, publications and communications • Mandatory to be in Prakrits and Sanskrit, English optional • E.g. Canadian government website must also be in French by law • National Language: start with a common Sanskrit vocabulary, script and move towards Sanskrit as link language. • State websites, publications and communications • Mandatory to be in State Language, must have common script version • Language of legislation and legal system (priority to be given to Prakrit texts in case of ambiguity). DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  29. 29. भा षा नी ति Private Sector Compliance •Product labeling - mandatory Indian language labeling • Medicines, Films, Food products •Language of services (must be offered in the Prakrits). •Language of commercial signing (Prakrit required). •Labour relations & business (businesses wanting to deal with the state must apply for Prakritization programs). DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  30. 30. भा षा नी ति Respect for Regional Dialects •Let states recognize additional Indian languages and dialects • Konkani, Marwari, Bhojpuri, Avadhi, Magadhi etc. • In State language curriculum • Allow primary school exchange in local dialect • Let child feel their own dialect is recognized and honored in school, rather than making it rustic or inferior. • Students must feel pride in local dialects rather than consider it rustic or inferior to any standardized language. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  31. 31. भा षा नी ति Adapting “Indian English” • Standardizing Roman transliteration of Indian languages • Spell checkers, other tools • Should be in software as “Indian English” • Use Sanskrit terminology for social and political concepts within Indian English. E.g., “dharma” instead of “religion”. • Law should be codified using Sanskrit and Prakrit terminology. These terms should be used even when English is used in courts. DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014
  32. 32. bhashaneeti.org DRAFT - V1 - 06.17.2014

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