The Centre has asked all the schools and higher educational institutions to celebrate February 21 as “Matrubhasha Divas” by organising day-long activities like group songs and essay competitions in Indian languages, with the Unesco recently declaring it as International Mother Tongue Day.

In a letter to the University Grants Commission, the Human Resource Development Ministry has asked the higher education regulator to ensure that various events, including a language festival, is organised in universities, colleges and other higher educational institutions to mark the day.

The ministry also issued similar directive to the Central Board of Secondary Education. However, it was not clear at this moment if the ministry wrote to the state governments, too, in this regard.

“The educational institutions have been asked to organise events like singing. Students will also be encouraged to take part in elocution and essay competitions,” a UGC official said. The institutions have also been suggested to organise events like group songs, the official added.

The objectives behind celebrating Matrubhasha Day included sensitising people about the need for greater use of mother tongue and other Indian languages. It also aims at highlighting the need to impart, among the students, the communication skills and proficiency in mother tongue and other Indian languages, especially among English medium students.

The CBSE has suggested all the schools affiliated to it to organise year-long activities and programmes to promote Indian languages among students.

“Schools have been asked to organise day-long events in order to celebrate the occasion. They can organise games in various Indian languages for students. The schools can also encourage everyone to learn a few sentences of an Indian language unknown to a student,” a CBSE official said.

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