Published: 13th December 2021
Not to precipitate making Kannada a compulsory language in higher education: HC tells state govt and universities
Adjourning the hearing to December 16, 2021, until the next date of hearing, the court said that the state government and the universities should not precipitate the matter
The Karnataka High Court on Monday, December 13, directed the Karnataka State Government and the universities not to precipitate the matter of making Kannada a compulsory language in higher education based on the purported implementation of National Education Policy 2020. A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum passed the order after hearing the petitions filed by the Samskrita Bharathi Karnataka Trust, Shivakumar KG and others, who are studying at Vijaya College at Basavanagudi in the city.
Advocate Sridhar Prabhu, representing the petitioner-students, argued that the admissions to colleges are over and the universities insisted the colleges send admission lists for finalisation of admissions. Meanwhile, the Additional Solicitor General of India, MB Naragund, submitted that he is not been able to get the instructions from the Union Government on its stand over making Kannada a compulsory language, in compliance of the directions issued by the court on the last occasion, and hence he may be given shortest possible accommodation to get the instructions.
Orally observing that students are suffering because of the issue, the court gave short accommodation to clear the stand of the Union of India on the issues involved in the writ petitions questioning the implementation of Kannada in undergraduate courses. Adjourning the hearing to December 16, 2021, until the next date of hearing, the court said that the state government and the universities should not precipitate the matter.
The students have contended that they have applied for Sanskrit as a language along with English. At present, they wish to pursue graduation by studying Sanskrit as one of the languages in the first two years of the degree, along with English language. Thus, the petitioners are aggrieved by the impugned government order dated August 7, 2021 and September 15, 2021, wherein Kannada is being compulsorily imposed on them and sparing only one language option as free choice.
The petitioners have contended that the state government directed the interstate and international degree students pursuing graduate programmes and they will be compulsorily instructed in 'Functioning Kannada' in one of the semesters in the first year. It is totally opposed to the very objective of NEP 2020 and violative of Articles 14, 19, 21, 29 and 30 of the Constitution, they claimed.