India, Germany to encourage teaching of each other's languages

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Berlin, Apr 15 (PTI) India and Germany have agreed to encourage the teaching of each other's languages within the framework of their national policies in the backdrop of a row over Sanskrit replacing German as third language in government-run Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a joint statement at the conclusion of their talks here yesterday that the two sides agreed to support "respective efforts and programmes in India and in Germany to broaden the knowledge of each other's languages among the youth in accordance with the national policy of each country."
Human Resources Development ministry had in November decided to discontinue teaching of German as an alternative to Sanskrit and cited "national interests" for its decision.
Germany had criticised the decision and the issue was also raised by Merkel during her meeting with Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane in November.
Modi had assured her at that time that his government will look into the matter and try to work out an amicable solution.
Sanskrit was introduced as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools on the basis of a memorandum of understanding signed between the KVS and the Goethe Institute in 2011.
The decision by the two countries to promote the teaching of each other's languages is in line with a series of measures agreed during Modi's three-day visit to strengthen their strategic partnership by expanding their cooperation in a number of areas, including promotion of education and vocational training, science and technology and skills development. PTI