Reviving our roots: Emphasising on Indian languages

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Shweta KhuranaThe National Curriculum Framework (NCF) is the talk of the town, which has embarked on a substantial endeavour in education reform. Although its recommendations lack obligatory force, they are poised to exert a profound influence on India’s school education landscape. The NCF proposes three pivotal ideas: mandating two Indian languages as compulsory subjects for Class IX and X, introducing a semester system for Class XI and XII, with the flexibility to take board exams twice annually and retain the best score, and granting students the freedom to select subjects from arts, sciences, and humanities in these grades.

The NCF’s language-related proposals align with the objectives of the National Education Policy (NEP), which emphasizes the importance of Indian languages. This approach will necessitate significant capacity-building efforts within schools, many of which are presently ill-equipped to provide the envisioned range of language options. But, implementing these recommendations lies within the purview of individual states.

A 19-member committee will employ these suggestions to finalize the curriculum, textbooks, and learning materials. Thus, it is a huge opportunity for educational publishers to provide books in accordance with the NCF. Publishers are also using other formats of dissemination for their content and audiobooks is one such format.

This issue, we focus on what audiobooks mean for India and what are the trends within. It is interesting to note that audiobooks in Indian languages are quite popular.As Nathan Hull, CSO, Best Technology, puts it, “Unlike most other countries, India has a scale potential unimaginable to most. Even a modestly represented language such as Malayalam or Punjabi is the equivalent to the Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Dutch languages combined.”

While, Arcopol Chaudhuri, Executive Editor – Rights & New Media, HarperCollins India says, “Hindi and Indian regional languages definitely have an edge because the demand for audio content in local languages is higher, the apps (Storytel,Pocket, etc) have made it easier to access literature at affordable price points and even via enabling micro-payments to payon a chapter-by-chapter model.”

Govind Deecee, DC Books, shares, “Audiobooks are still in their infancy, but interestingly it’s also a new set of audiences that this format has reached so it has been an interesting tool for discoverability with regards to titles.”

Read on to know more about audiobooks transforming the publishing landscape.

Shweta
shweta@allaboutbookpublishing.com

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