New Education Policy drops Chinese, after listing it in draft version

Chinese has been given a miss in the list of foreign languages offered to students at the secondary school level in the National Education Policy (NEP), which was launched earlier this week.

The list has French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Thai as electives that students can take up to “learn about cultures of the world and enrich global knowledge… according to their own interests and aspirations”.

However, a draft version of the NEP, released last year, did list Chinese, along with French, German, Japanese and Spanish as examples of languages to be “offered and available to interested students” as electives.

The approved NEP released by Union ministers Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal on Wednesday omitted Chinese.

The step has come amid a stand-off with China after the brutal brawl in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15 during which 20 Indian Army soldiers were killed by Chinese troops. Tensions between the two countries escalated following the Galwan Valley face-off.

India had banned 59 Chinese-origin mobile phone apps, including social media platforms such as TikTok and WeChat, in June in view of the information available that they are engaged in activities which are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity and defence” of the country. After that, 47 other Chinese apps, which were variants and cloned copies of the 59 apps banned earlier.

After the fresh ban on 47 clones of prohibited Chinese apps, Beijing said it will take “necessary measures” to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.

Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement that India’s June 29 ban on 59 mobile apps with Chinese background “severely damaged the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies”,

“The Indian government has the responsibility to protect the legitimate rights and interests of international investors in India, including Chinese businesses, in accordance with market principles,” she added.

The ban orders for the Chinese apps and their clones are among a string of economic measures unveiled by India in the wake of the months-old border standoff with China.

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