Three-Language Formula and its Origin

The three-language formula was again at the centre of controversy after the release of the draft National Education Policy.

What is the three-language formula?

  • The teaching of Hindi was part of a long-standing system across the country. But it was crystallised into policy only in the National Policy on Education, 1968.
  • The National Policy on Education, 1968 noted that regional languages were already in use as the media of education in the primary and secondary stages.
  • The policy added that State governments must adopt and implement the three-language formula, which includes the study of a modern Indian language, preferably one of the southern languages, apart from Hindi and English in the Hindi-speaking States.
  • As an extension, it stated that in the non-Hindi speaking States , Hindi should be studied along with the regional language and English. Suitable courses in Hindi and/or English should also be available in universities and colleges to improve the proficiency of students up to the prescribed university standards.

The National Policy on Education 1968 further stated that every effort should be made to promote and develop Hindi as the link language. Due care should be taken to ensure that Hindi will serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India as provided for in Article 351 of the Constitution.