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Arunachal: RGU Observes International Mother Language Day

The programme was initiated and organised on the auspicious occasion by the Department of English and the Department of Hindi under the Faculty of Languages, RGU.

ITANAGAR- International Mother Language Day was observed on the 21st of February 2024 here at the premises of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) with Vice Chancellor, Prof. Saket Kushwaha as the chief guest. The programme was initiated and organised on the auspicious occasion by the Department of English and the Department of Hindi under the Faculty of Languages, RGU.

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The programme was spread over two major sessions. An inaugural session was followed by a technical session and an interactive session with the students. This was followed by a valedictory session.

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A welcome address by Prof. Oken Lego, Head, Department of Hindi succeeded this. Prof. Lego dwelt on the historical background of the Mother Language Day and commented on the historic implications of the event leading up to this celebration.

Prof. S.S. Singh, Dean, Faculty of Languages in his address spoke on mother language and its importance in the added context of India where the language scene is very complex and how mother tongue based teaching efforts would contribute to the harnessing of the national integration objective.

Then, Prof. Bhagabat Nayak, Head, Department of English, delivered a short note on the term ‘mother language’ and highlighted its recognition in the New Education Policy 2020 implemented at all levels of education at the behest of the Government of India with also technology infusion as one of its salient features.

Dr. N.T. Rikam, Registrar, in  his address began  with a salutation in Nyishi, his mother language. Dr. Rikam stressed upon the importance of mother language especially in the context of Arunachal Pradesh which he said is home to various endangered languages whose existence is aggravated by the lack of a written script.

He also referred to several important works being done in the University with the collaboration of professors, research scholars, and students to address this issue to address the grave challenge that Arunachal Pradesh is confronted with in terms  of preservation of its languages.

Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice Chancellor, RGU, offering the presidential address stressed on the importance of mother language and  the need for  observing such occasions with aplomb in the university to instill in the students the sense of responsibility to do to the mother an, mother land and the mother language what all is genuinely needed .

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He also made reference to both the promise and challenge arising out of fascination for the use of Artificial Intelligence and its importance in language learning in contemporary times. He also shared a few anecdotes to reinforce the importance of mother language in the everyday context, and the need not to reduce it to a mere academic exercise.

His emphasis was also very pointedly on the Government of India initiatives to give all the mother languages spoken across the country a level playing field so that all language-speaking communities can have scope for progress without ever being under circumstantial compulsion to face endangerment or extinction.

This was followed by the vote of thanks which was delivered by Dr. Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, Assistant Professor, Department of Hindi. He thanked all the patrons and the faculty members of both the departments for the facilitation of the celebration. He also thanked all the scholars, students, and other participants present in the audience.

The proceedings of the inaugural programme were concluded with the National Anthem. A photo session was held with the guests and the audience to mark the occasion.

The technical sessions were graced by two distinguished academics, namely Prof. Jaishankar Babu, the Department of Hindi, Head, Department of Hindi, Pondicherry University, and Prof. Mahesh Kumar Dey, Head, Department of English, Veer Narmad South Gujrat University as resource persons.

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Prof. Babu spoke at length on the role of linguistics and computational linguistics in language preservation of indigenous languages. He touched upon the Northeast and its rich linguistic diversity and in this context emphasised the need to invest in educational resources such as textbooks and dictionaries in indigenous languages.

This was followed by the address by Prof. Dey, who began his address by stating that Indian multiculturalism/multilingualism make it imperative to work with multilingualism as praxis in the everyday context. He concluded his speech by stating that the uses of the language are integral to the preservation of indigenous languages.

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