COIMBATORE: Sharing the stage with Governor RN Ravi at the 37th Bharathiar University convocation held on Friday, State Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi asserted that Tamil Nadu will continue with its two-language policy and Hindi should not be imposed through the new education policy.
Governor RN Ravi, who spoke after him, said some people are creating an impression that the Centre is imposing a language on Tamil Nadu, which is not correct.
“We are not against any language. Those who like to learn Hindi can learn Hindi. But it should be optional and Hindi should not be a compulsory subject. There are two languages in the State, English, an international language, and Tamil, the mother tongue of the State. It is enough. We are ready to adopt good principles in the new education policy. That’s why the CM has formed a committee to formulate State’s own education policy,” the minister said.
Taking a dig at those who insist that jobs will be available for those who learn Hindi, the minister said, “Some people say that if you learn Hindi, you can get a job. See who is selling pani-puri in Coimbatore.”
Ponmudi said he used the platform to highlight Tamil Nadu’s sentiments on the language issue as the Governor would convey them to the Centre.
There’s no question of Hindi imposition, says Governor
“Tamil Nadu is leading in education in India. CM has said that health and education are his two eyes. Education was once denied to women. Today, mothers want their daughters to get educated. Under the Dravidian Model, where everyone can get educated, Tamil Nadu has recorded 53% enrolment rate in higher education in India,” Ponmudi said.
Responding to Ponmudi, Governor RN Ravi in his presidential address said, “There is no question of imposing Hindi or any other language in India. We should encourage all languages.”
“An impression is being created by some people that the Centre is imposing a language on Tamil Nadu. It is not true. In fact, the whole thrust of national education policy is to encourage learning and teaching in regional languages, particularly ones mother tongue at initial stages, and subsequently in the language of the State."
"The PM has set up Subramania Bharati Chair for Tamil language in Banaras Hindu University. Some of the states are coming around to promote Tamil as the third language. I would like to urge the State government to take the initiative to set up Tamil chairs in universities in other States,” the Governor said.
In his convocation address, former ISRO chairman K Sivan urged students to become job-creators rather than job-seekers. At least 1,686 Ph D scholars received certificates at the event.
Higher Education Secretary D Karthikeyan and Vice-Chancellor P Kaliraj were present.