Qn. Bengal/Maharashtra Govt. policy

Prasad Velusamy prasad_velusamy at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 28 17:40:47 UTC 2000

  While browsing on the web, I came across the following article.
  Is another vernacular language spreading in India as in the EC?
  Have Maharashtra and Bengal reversed their earlier positions,
  and make English compulsory?

  Thanks for the info,


  English rises again as India's power language
  By Robert Marquand, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
   Thursday, February 10, 2000

  After a decade-long "Indianization" to teach regional languages in
  the schools - and remove British-era names of streets and places
  (Bombay is now Mumbai, Calcutta is Kolkata) - a middle-class
  consensus to spread the learning of English is emerging. For 50
  years, English has been a language of privilege, but today it must
  become a more common vernacular, say intellectuals, business
  executives, and parents alike.


  "If we wish to be a global cyberpower, if we want a larger share of
   the world markets, if we want greater political relevance ... we
  could start out with a crash program to promote English, not Hindi,"
  argues Shekar Gupta, editor of India's largest newspaper, The Indian
  Express. He points out that among the more prosperous populations of
  East Asia, English is becoming a compulsory second language.


  Acknowledging these realities, in December the government of
  Maharashtra, whose capital is Bombay, announced compulsory English
  lessons for all students from grade 6 onward. The move, like a
  similar one in West Bengal two years ago, reverses a policy of the
  early 1990s to teach only the local Marathi and Bengali languages
  in schools. Parents in Bombay were a major part of the lobbying
  effort to change the system.

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