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Three Language Formula
The three-language formula is a language learning policy first formulated in 1968 by the Ministry of Education of the Government of India in consultation with the states.
The first recommendation for a three-language policy was made by the University Education Commission in 1948–49, which did not find the requirement to study three languages to be an extravagance, citing the precedents of other multilingual nations such as Belgium and Switzerland.
While accepting that Modern Standard Hindi was itself a minority language, and had no superiority over others such as Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Malayalam, and Gujarati all of which had a long history and greater body of literature, the commission still foresaw Hindi as eventually replacing English as the means by which every Indian state may participate in the Federal functions.
The Education Commission of 1964–66 recommended a modified or graduated three-language formula. Following some debate, the original three-language formula was adopted by the Indian Parliament in 1968. The formula as enunciated in the 1968 National Policy Resolution which provided for the study of “Hindi, English and modern Indian language (preferably one of the southern languages) in the Hindi speaking states and Hindi, English and the regional language in the non-Hindi speaking States”.
The formula was formulated in response to demands from non-Hindi speaking states of the South, such as Karnataka and mainly Tamil Nadu. Currently, the three language system is not followed in Tamil Nadu due to the efforts of former Chief Minister C. N. Annadurai. The 1986 National Policy on Education reiterated the 1968 formula.
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