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Protect The Mother Tongue

  • Published
    22nd Feb, 2022

International Mother Language Day is observed every year on February 21.


About International Mother Language Day:

  • The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of
  • It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000.
  • The theme of the 2022 International Mother Language Day, “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”.
  • It discussed the potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.
  • UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies.
  • It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.  

The United Nations has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages to preserve, revitalise and promote indigenous languages.

Steps taken by India to preserve and promote mother tongue:

  • The scheme -- 'Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India' (SPEEL) is being implemented by Mysore-based Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL).
    • "This scheme aims at protection, preservation and documentation of all mother tongues/languages of India which are spoken by less than 10,000 people."
    • Dialects being part of a language are covered under this programme.
  • UGC has a scheme for 'Establishment of Centres for Endangered Languages' under which centres were approved in respect of nine Central universities.
  • The Supreme Court has recently decided to make available its judgments in six Indian languages, to start with.
    • This is a positive step in the direction of removing language barriers and ensuring equal access to justice.
  • In the Rajya Sabha, a provision has been made for its members to express themselves in any of the 22 scheduled languages.
  • The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, says that wherever possible the medium of instruction in schools until Grade V, preferably until Grade VIII should be the mother tongue or the local or regional language.
    • All efforts will be made early on to ensure that any gaps that exist between the language spoken by the child and the medium of teaching are bridged.
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