States should be encouraged to “voluntarily” include Hindi in the curriculum instead of “compulsorily” teaching the language, the Hindi Advisory Committee of the HRD Ministry has recommended. The recommendation comes following deliberations on a presidential order last month asking the ministry to consult states on making Hindi compulsory till class 10 in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Kendriya Vidyalyas, a move which was criticised by several non-Hindi speaking states. President Pranab Mukherjee had given his nod to the recommendations of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language. “In a meeting of the Hindi Advisory Committee, the members were of the view that instead of giving instructions or directions about teaching Hindi compulsorily in class 9 and 10, the states should encourage teachers to teach Hindi voluntarily,” a senior official of the Human Resource Development Ministry said.
The meeting, chaired by Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey, deliberated upon various ways to ensure progressive use of the language. “The committee was of the opinion that the ministry should increase original Hindi correspondence. The panel also emphasised that to increase the use of Hindi, simple and popular words should be used instead of difficult Hindi words,” the official added. Another suggestion from the committee, he said, was that the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology prepare ‘trilingual’ technical terminology–in English, Hindi and a regional language. The presidential order had also directed the ministry to formulate a “common Hindi teaching scheme” for universities and higher educational institutions across the country.
Asking universities without Hindi departments to establish one and directing educational institutions to fix a minimum level of Hindi education were among the other recommendations that got the president’s approval. Besides, students in varsities and institutions in non- Hindi states, where they are not given the option of appearing in exams or interviews in Hindi, must be allowed the option of writing answers in their mother language, the order had said.