Anticipated implementation of ‘three-language formula’ to open gates for Sanskrit learners

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Chennai: The Ministry of Human Resource Development, around three months ago, constituted a 13-member expert committee, with former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami as its head. The core agenda of committee was to suggest measures to integrate the study of Sanskrit with subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Law.

The committee suggested setting up of an independent Sanskrit cell in country’s premier institutions while making a ‘three-language formula’ mandatory for all schools.

Tabled by the committee on 4 February, the report according to Gopalaswami contains suggestions which if implemented, would open up avenues for students, who want to pursue Sanskrit.

The final decision on implementing the suggestions is expected to be taken by HRD Minister Smriti Irani shortly.

Clarifying contrary reports which announced the committee’s decision to make Sanskrit a mandatory subject, Gopalaswami clarified in an interaction with reporters that it is not true since nobody is forcing them to opt for the ancient language.

“All we have said is that there should be an option made available for students so that those wishing to learn Sanskrit can opt for it,” he asserted.

Under the two-language policy, Gopalaswami feels students who desire to learn Sanskrit are faced with the dilemma of choice. He said, “This is because they are forced to learn English and the native language (mother tongue), meaning even if they want to learn Sanskrit, they are not able to.”

Gopalaswami told about the flexibility of the three-language policy under which students can choose among a plethora of languages. He said, “In the report, we have made it clear that the option must be made available for eight scheduled languages and the students can, in turn, decide the three languages they wish to opt for.”

He stated about the abundance of information pertaining to medicine, architecture, science and technology available in Sanskrit, which could only be understood if the language is learnt first.

If you close your eyes, it doesn’t mean that light is non-existent. All the knowledge in Sanskrit texts has been existing for ages and there is a dire need to comprehend them and use them for the collective welfare of the nation,” he said, reiterating, “The suggestions are only for those with an inclination to learn Sanskrit and there is no compulsion on anyone to opt for the language against one’s choice.”

Since a huge amount of informational material is available in Sanskrit, Gopalaswami believes that implementation of the report will bring a positive impact in the educational system, beneficial for the common welfare of the people.

“Otherwise, somebody else will do it and you will start running behind,” he added.

Stating the report’s purpose, Gopalaswami further said that establishing a Sanskrit cell in premier institutions of the country, including the IITs and IIMs, is a significant step in opening up a platform for those willing to research in the ancient language. (Inputs from