A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE THIRD LANGUAGE BILL, 2020
Author: Akansha Anand, IV year of BBA.LLB from Fairfield Institue of Management & Technology.
India is a nation that has 22 official languages but there are almost 780 languages in India which are not official, because of the huge number of languages, the major issue that arises is the issue of communication. Due to the communication barrier, the Third Language Bill, 2020 was introduced by the Parliament of India with the view that every citizen will have a stronger communication method and it will also help to reduce the barriers that exist within the country. To ensure valuable culture, the students have to learn a regional language along with Hindi and English and it should be from the list of official languages that has been stated under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. In this article, the author has tried to highlight the concept of the Third Language Bill, 2020, its major provisions, and the outcome in the nation by the implementation of this bill.
INTRODUCTION & HISTORY
In India, various languages are being used by different people in different regions. Like most of the states in South India don’t use the language of North India. Therefore, due to this a major problem of communication takes birth among all the states and regions of India.
In 1968, the Ministry of Education considering this problem created a Three Language Formula, according to which National Policy Resolution took place and the policy suggested that Hindi, English, and a modern language should be taught in the states where majorly people speak Hindi and in Non- Hindi speaking states should teach Hindi, English and their regional languages.
But this attempt was a failure and was ignored by many states for many years, states such as Odisha or Maharashtra continued to teach their regional language as a subject at their state schools and give very few offers to the Hindi language as the third language, and also some states have included foreign language in their schools so that students will be enabled to study abroad. However, not even a full state properly participated in this policy.
Years ago, Hindi was voted as the official language of India, and English continued to be another language for almost 15 years after the decision of the official language was taken. In 1963, the Official Language Act came into force, Tamil Nadu felt that the formula that was imposed is going to vanish their mother tongues, this leads to an addition of a few other languages to the official language of India, the current number of official language is 22 as per the Eighth Schedule of Constitution of India.
In 2020, the Parliament introduces the Third Language Bill, 2020 which aims to include a third language in the curriculum of students and to build a stronger culture that will reduce the language barrier in the country. This bill ensures that the students should have a regional language along with English and Hindi which will be teaching them at the school level.
Third language education to the students is important to maintain the legacy of different cultures of India, therefore according to the bill, all schools whether private or public have to strictly introduce a compulsory third language in their curriculum and the third language must belong to the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution other than Hindi and English. The bill also consists of some provisions, the major provisions have been discussed hereunder.
The Third Language Bill, 2020 has some major provisions of bill are-
1. NATIONAL POLICY
National Policy is a framework that is created by the central government within the year of commencement of the bill for providing a third language. Education in all the schools across India, the policy also includes the infrastructure and facilities that are required in the nation.
The policy that has been made under the Third Language Bill shall include-
· The most important third language for education for all the students in all the schools of the nation ‘India’.
· The policy aims to enhance the tradition, culture, and the literature in Indian Language will encourage students to maintain the legacy of their culture.
· The bill also aims to prepare a standard and qualitative syllabus for the third language subject.
· The bill will develop the sources of funds that are required for the infrastructure and ensures the availability of the required faculty.
2. IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL POLICY
The policy on the National basis which is drafted by the Central government of India has to be implemented in all the states across the nation by the appropriate government (whether state or central government).
3. POWER TO MAKE RULES
The power to rulemaking of the provisions of the bill lies with the central government which may be done by the notification in the official gazette.
For the better implementation of the bill, it will be the duty of the central government to provide funds.
5. PENAL PROVISIONS
The bill also describes various penal provisions which will be held liable to the school that does not follow the prescribed policy will be held liable for punitive action for such violation. The punishment will be prescribed by this bill. The punishment may also include the withdrawal of recognition of the school from the concerned board, or any other action as prescribed under this bill.
CONSEQUENCES BY IMPLEMENTATION
The bill has been made by Parliament with utmost dedication and with the hope that it will cut down all the communication barriers. Hence, there are several advantages of the bill that can be prevailed by the implementation of the bill but on the other hand, there are also some shortcomings that can be caused by the implementation of the bill.
Let us discuss this in brief-
· The bill will do cultural enhancement and enable the student to have a better understanding of different place’s culture and it will also bring values to their own culture.
· The major reason to implement this bill is the problem of the communication barrier, therefore the bill will help the citizens to communicate easily. Further, this will also help in connecting people to do business and other professions easily.
· Many students speak different languages or have a mother tongue other than Hindi or English. In other words, their mother tongue has not been recognized but by the implementation of this bill, it will get recognition.
· It can be seen that due to the communication barrier, India being a nation still divided into parts. The bill will help the nation to have integrity and unity.
· The implementation of the bill will also be a step towards the single national language of India.
· India has so many cultures and different languages, hence it will be very difficult to make changes in curriculum across the nation.
· There are 22 official languages in India in which English and Hindi are compulsory by this bill, remaining 20 are the languages from which every school has to choose one, it will be so difficult for schools to provide options to students.
· There will also be difficulty in hiring faculty. The teachers should have a good command of English or Hindi along with the language they are going to teach for conveying their knowledge.
· Heavy investment will be required for implementing such policy and on regular inspection that the guidelines of policy are being followed or not.
· Many states will not prefer this policy as Tamil Nadu in 2019 has shown its non-acceptance towards this bill, other states can also refuse to adopt Hindi.
· The burden of learning three languages will be on students as Indian languages are complex, the students will find it too difficult to memorize three languages.
We can say that the Third Language Bill 2020 is not ready to be implemented in India despite it has a lot of advantages but yet there is a need to take more years and good planning for the implementation of this bill so that no state will feel neglected. Therefore, the policy needs to get developed after careful consideration of several factors.
Steve Bussey, Andover, Languages in India https://blog.andovar.com/languages-in-india-how-many-are-there#:~:text=It%20includes%2022%20languages%2C%20and,one%20it%20wants%20to%20adapt.&text=The%20map%20below%20shows%20the,each%20Indian%20state%20and%20territory. Accessed on 8th January 2020.
Revathi Krishnan, ThePrint, All about 3-language formula, https://theprint.in/theprint-essential/all-about-3-language-formula-the-bone-of-contention-between-centre-southern-states/471419/ accessed on 8th January 2020.
Sonali Sinha, Lawyered, Three Language Formula under National Education Policy 2020, <https://www.lawyered.in/legal-disrupt/articles/three-language-policy-under-national-education-policy-2020/> accessed on 9th January 2020.
 Julie Mariappan, The Times of India, Tamil Nadu will never allow centre’s Three Language Policy, <https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/tamil-nadu-will-never-allow-centres-three-language-policy-cm-tells-pm-modi/articleshow/77326907.cms> accessed on 11th January 2020.