Indian languages: Fast gaining their share of recognition!
The Union Budget 2023-24 brings a wide cheer to the publishing industry. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has increased the allocation for the promotion of Indian languages by 20% to ?300.7 crore, while also doubling the fund for the Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) scheme to ?20 crore from ?10 crore in the previous year’s budget. This move aligns with the government’s focus on promoting indigenous languages and IKS among the youth, as evidenced by its introduction of technical and professional courses in these languages in educational institutions.
National institutions that will benefit from this allocation include the Central Sanskrit University, Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language, Central Institute of Classical Tamil, and National Initiative for Quality Higher Education in Indian Languages.
Additionally, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) in Mysore, which works for the promotion of all Indian languages, has received an allocation of ?53.61 crore in 2023-24, up from ?43.50 crore in the previous year’s revised estimate. The IKS scheme, which aims to incorporate ancient Indian knowledge into modern education, will receive a higher fund allocation of ?20 crore.
The budget also emphasizes the importance of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which promotes imparting education in Indian languages and IKS among the youth. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has formed an apex committee to work with Indian authors to prepare textbooks in different Indian languages and disciplines, which will be available in digital format on the national digital library announced in the budget.
Yuvraj Malik, Director, NBT-India, says, “In tune with the hon’ble Finance Minister’s vision and statement, NBT-India will be expanding its mandate and create accessibility and availability of Digital Library to the children and youth across the country.”
The Indian language publishing industry will get the much-needed impetus and will shine bright on the global arena.