Hyderabad: Addressing a gathering at a programme organised by the Swarna Bharat Trust at Muchhinthal in Hyderabad on Sunday, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu underscored the importance of using indigenous languages in higher education. He highlighted the necessity of having local languages in the judiciary and courts improve accessibility to the common man.

Speaking about the importance of multilingualism, the vice-president advised that we learn as many languages as possible, along with a strong foundation in one's mother tongue. He called for parents and educators to encourage children to learn a national and an international language, apart from their mother language. "Such linguistic skills can lead to better cognitive development in children, as multiple studies show," said Naidu.

Highlighting the importance of mother tongue in governance, Naidu advised that people should increase its use, especially at state and local levels. Advocating an inclusive model of governance, he said, "Only by communicating with the common person in a language he or she understands can we include him or her in the process of governance and development. Language of administration should be the language of the people," said Naidu.

The vice-president also called for making mother tongue the primary medium of instruction, at least until Class 5. He suggested that educating a child in a language that is not spoken at home can be a big impediment to learning especially at the primary stage.

Referring to multiple studies, Naidu said that teaching through the mother tongue in the initial stages of education can boost a child's self-esteem and enhance his or her creativity. Calling the New Education Policy a visionary and progressive document, he urged for implementing the policy in letter and spirit.

Suggesting that language inclusion should come at the higher levels too, Naidu gave the instance of Rajya Sabha, where a provision has been made for its members to express themselves in any of the 22 scheduled languages.

In addition, the vice-president noted that exposure to other languages can also help build cultural bridges and open windows to new worlds of experience. With healthy respect and interest in each other's languages, we can foster national unity and unveil an 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat', Naidu observed.

On this occasion, Naidu appreciated the various government initiatives for a multilingual society such as the National Translation Mission, the Bharatavani project and the proposed setting up of a Bharatiya Bhasha Vishwavidyalaya (BBV) and Indian Institute of Translation and Interpretation (IITT).

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