Maithili to be optional subject from Class 8-12 in Delhi schools: On Monday, the Delhi government announced to include the Maithili language as an optional subject from Class 8 to Class 12. They further added to arrange free coaching to IAS aspirants who choose it as an optional subject. The decision comes at a time when only a few months are left for the Delhi assembly polls. Both Maithili and Bhojpuri languages are spoken in areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and these “Purvanchalis” constitute about 40% of Delhi’s population. Thus they play a vital role in deciding the fate of any political party in any election in the city.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters, “Maithili will be taught as an optional language in Delhi schools from class 8th to class 12th. Students of Delhi would now be able to learn Maithili as an optional subject like Urdu and Punjabi.”
According to the government, there is around 60 lakh to 70 lakh Maithili and Bhojpuri speaking people in Delhi. Mr. Sisodia further added that the AAP government would also request the central government to include Bhojpuri in 8th Schedule of the Constitution as Maithili is already part of the schedule.
He explained that because Bhojpuri is not part of the schedule, even if he wants to introduce it in schools as an optional language, he cannot. No student can take Bhojpuri as an optional language in any of the competitive examinations for the same reason.
Working in this regard, he added, “I will write to the Centre as the Chairman of the Maithili-Bhojpuri academy to include Bhojpuri in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.”
The Delhi government has also announced to arrange free coaching for students who appear in competitive exams like those for IAS/civil services with Maithili as an optional subject and added, “They will get coaching for Maithili for the exams. We have done the experiment with Sanskrit and have got good results. The Maithili Bhojpuri academy will arrange for free coaching for the students.”
As there is no computer font for Maithili and thus the Delhi government has taken a major step to have a font for the language. He said, “The government is in touch with Pune-based C-DAC for the same. We will get C-DAC to make the Maithili font and then will give it to the users.”
Besides this, the government also said that there is no scheme yet to felicitate those who have contributed richly to the languages Maithili and Bhojpuri and hence from now onwards there will be awards for those who work for Maithili-Bhojpuri arts, culture, journalism, theatre, and others.
There are 10 categories of the awards, including ‘Shikhar Samman Maithili: Lifetime achievement award (Rs. 2.5 lakhs)’ and ‘Shikhar Samman Bhojpuri: Lifetime achievement award (Rs. 2.5 lakhs)’.
The government has also planned a five-day Maithili-Bhojpuri festival in the first or second week of November in Connaught Place. He added, “We have already been celebrating language festivals in Connaught Place for the last three-four years. It has always received a good response.”