The new education policy recently introduced by the government gives impetus to the learning of foreign languages, half of which are European, and as a result, the future of exchanges between India and Europe is brighter than ever, said Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Monday.
Delivering the closing speech at the Day of Languages celebrations organized by Mayo College in association with the Goethe Institut, Shringla said that the most defining characteristic of human civilization is undoubtedly the ability to communicate through languages.
A key element that connects Europe and India is, in fact, languages, he said.
“Both India and Europe are linguistically diverse lands. India alone has 22 languages listed in its Constitution and more than a thousand native languages. India is home to diverse language families,” said Shringla.
Apart from the Indo-European language family, the Dravidian, Austric and Tibeto-Burman languages, among others, have also taken up residence in India, he noted.
The European Union, for its part, has 24 official languages and many other languages and dialects, he said.
In fact, this diversity is also found in sign languages, representing the truly inclusive nature of speech, he said.
“On the other hand, the ancient Indian literary traditions have attracted a lot of interest beyond the borders of India in recent times, and we are seeing more interest in the establishment of departments and chairs of Sanskrit and ‘other major Indian languages in foreign universities,’ Shringla said.
The Indian Diaspora is going around the world creating the demand for learning Indian languages in foreign educational institutions, he said.
“You may know that the new education policy recently introduced by the Indian government is giving a boost to the learning of foreign languages, half of which are European languages, namely French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, so the future of trade between India and Europe is brighter than ever,” Shringla said.
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