Culture: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

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UPSC : Culture: April 2021 Current Affair Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


	
8.	CULTURE	
8.1.	FESTIVALS	IN	NEWS	
 
Page 2


	
8.	CULTURE	
8.1.	FESTIVALS	IN	NEWS	
 
	
8.2.	NATIVE	LANGUAGE	
Why in news? 
Recently, the Vice President elaborated on 
the importance of strong foundational skills 
in native languages in the initial years of 
informal learning at home. 
About native language 
• Generally native language and mother 
tongue are used interchangeably. 
However, there is a subtle difference 
between both.  
o The native language (or the first 
language) refers to the language of 
the area the person grows up in. It is 
the language which a child acquires 
either through schooling or 
socialization, such as family. 
o Mother tongue is the in-born 
language, which a baby has already 
familiarized even in the gestation of 
mother before it was born.  
o At times in multilingual families, 
there can be a home language 
spoken by other family members that 
may sometimes be different from 
mother tongue or local language. 
• The United Nations (UN) has announced 
2019 as the year ‘Year of International Mother Tongue Conservation.’  
• Of the 196 languages listed as endangered by UNESCO India has the highest number of endangered languages 
in the world (40 Indian languages are on the verge of extinction). 
• According to the UN every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual 
heritage.  
Importance of native languages 
• Preservation of cultural heritage: Our language is 
our heritage, historically, and is our ancestors’ 
legacy which connects our past with the present, 
and gives us an understanding to envision the 
future. Native language is more than just a means 
of communication. It is a repository of a 
community’s collective history and heritage.  
• Community identity: Native language also 
provides an identity and a focus that binds a 
community together, which makes individual 
accomplishments easier. 
• Country’s diversity: With hundreds of languages coexisting, linguistic diversity is one of the cornerstones of 
India's ancient civilisation. 
• Enhanced cognitive ability: Research shows that multilingualism has great cognitive benefits to young 
students. Children pick up languages extremely quickly between the ages of 2 and 8.  
• Instilling confidence in children: Educating a child in a language that is not spoken at home can be a big 
impediment to learning especially at the primary stage. Teaching through the mother tongue or native 
language in the initial stages of education can boost a child's self-esteem and enhance his or her creativity. 
Steps taken to promote the native languages 
• 8
th
 Schedule of the Constitution: It lists the official languages of the 
country. Initially, there were 14 languages listed in the schedule, it now 
has 22. A majority of Indians speak the languages listed. While this 
Schedule recognises that India is a multilingual country, there are still 
1,300 ‘mother tongues’ that have been left out.  
o The Constitution does not mention any qualifying criterion for a 
language to be included in this Schedule.  
o When the Commission for Linguistic Minorities recommends the 
inclusion of a language into the Schedule, the Union government 
includes it through an amendment to the Constitution. 
• Article 29: Any citizen / section of citizens having a distinct language, 
script or culture have the right to conserve the same. 
• Article 30: All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall 
have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of 
their choice.  
• Sahitya Akademi: It is the central institution for literary dialogue, 
publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that 
undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English. 
Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it 
has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations 
from and into the languages of India.  
• Jnanpith Award: It is the highest literary award in India, given annually 
for the best creative literary writing to writers in any of the 22 “scheduled 
languages.” 
• Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages 
(SPPEL): The scheme was instituted by the Ministry of Education in 2013 
to document and archive the country’s languages that have become 
endangered or likely to be endangered in the near future. The scheme is 
monitored by Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) located in 
Mysuru, Karnataka. The CIIL has collaborated with various universities 
and institutes across India for this mission. 
Page 3


	
8.	CULTURE	
8.1.	FESTIVALS	IN	NEWS	
 
	
8.2.	NATIVE	LANGUAGE	
Why in news? 
Recently, the Vice President elaborated on 
the importance of strong foundational skills 
in native languages in the initial years of 
informal learning at home. 
About native language 
• Generally native language and mother 
tongue are used interchangeably. 
However, there is a subtle difference 
between both.  
o The native language (or the first 
language) refers to the language of 
the area the person grows up in. It is 
the language which a child acquires 
either through schooling or 
socialization, such as family. 
o Mother tongue is the in-born 
language, which a baby has already 
familiarized even in the gestation of 
mother before it was born.  
o At times in multilingual families, 
there can be a home language 
spoken by other family members that 
may sometimes be different from 
mother tongue or local language. 
• The United Nations (UN) has announced 
2019 as the year ‘Year of International Mother Tongue Conservation.’  
• Of the 196 languages listed as endangered by UNESCO India has the highest number of endangered languages 
in the world (40 Indian languages are on the verge of extinction). 
• According to the UN every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual 
heritage.  
Importance of native languages 
• Preservation of cultural heritage: Our language is 
our heritage, historically, and is our ancestors’ 
legacy which connects our past with the present, 
and gives us an understanding to envision the 
future. Native language is more than just a means 
of communication. It is a repository of a 
community’s collective history and heritage.  
• Community identity: Native language also 
provides an identity and a focus that binds a 
community together, which makes individual 
accomplishments easier. 
• Country’s diversity: With hundreds of languages coexisting, linguistic diversity is one of the cornerstones of 
India's ancient civilisation. 
• Enhanced cognitive ability: Research shows that multilingualism has great cognitive benefits to young 
students. Children pick up languages extremely quickly between the ages of 2 and 8.  
• Instilling confidence in children: Educating a child in a language that is not spoken at home can be a big 
impediment to learning especially at the primary stage. Teaching through the mother tongue or native 
language in the initial stages of education can boost a child's self-esteem and enhance his or her creativity. 
Steps taken to promote the native languages 
• 8
th
 Schedule of the Constitution: It lists the official languages of the 
country. Initially, there were 14 languages listed in the schedule, it now 
has 22. A majority of Indians speak the languages listed. While this 
Schedule recognises that India is a multilingual country, there are still 
1,300 ‘mother tongues’ that have been left out.  
o The Constitution does not mention any qualifying criterion for a 
language to be included in this Schedule.  
o When the Commission for Linguistic Minorities recommends the 
inclusion of a language into the Schedule, the Union government 
includes it through an amendment to the Constitution. 
• Article 29: Any citizen / section of citizens having a distinct language, 
script or culture have the right to conserve the same. 
• Article 30: All minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall 
have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of 
their choice.  
• Sahitya Akademi: It is the central institution for literary dialogue, 
publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that 
undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English. 
Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it 
has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations 
from and into the languages of India.  
• Jnanpith Award: It is the highest literary award in India, given annually 
for the best creative literary writing to writers in any of the 22 “scheduled 
languages.” 
• Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages 
(SPPEL): The scheme was instituted by the Ministry of Education in 2013 
to document and archive the country’s languages that have become 
endangered or likely to be endangered in the near future. The scheme is 
monitored by Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) located in 
Mysuru, Karnataka. The CIIL has collaborated with various universities 
and institutes across India for this mission. 
	
Way ahead 
• Individual efforts: We need to start educating children about the importance of languages and encourage 
them to speak and write them too. Using one’s mother tongue at home will make it easier for children to be 
comfortable with their own cultural identity. The preservation of language is important at an individual level 
as extinction takes place because of personal negligence of a language.  
• Community efforts: Schools must organise various programmes to promote culture, art, and languages. Folk 
groups should launch awareness campaigns in order to encourage people to speak in their native languages 
without feeling ashamed about it. Communities must organise festivals in order to celebrate languages. 
• Use of technology: Technology could be used to make a record of endangered languages in order to preserve 
them for the future generations.  
• National Education Policy (NEP), 2020: It recoginises the fact that young children learn and grasp nontrivial 
concepts more quickly in their home language/mother tongue. Children will be exposed to different languages 
early on (but with a particular emphasis on the mother tongue), starting from the Foundational Stage onwards.  
o All languages will be taught in an enjoyable and interactive style, with plenty of interactive conversation, 
and with early reading and subsequently writing in the mother tongue in the early years, and with skills 
developed for reading and writing in other languages in Grade 3 and beyond.  
o There will be a major effort from both the Central and State governments to invest in large numbers of 
language teachers in all regional languages around the country, and, in particular, for all languages 
mentioned in the 8
th
 Schedule of the Constitution of India. 
• Use of local languages in administration, court proceedings and to deliver judgments in native languages. 
Gradual increase in the use of indigenous languages in higher and technical education as suggested by the 
Vice-President.  
	
 
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