Published: 08th October 2021
Will ruin lives of 1.3 lakh students: Four organisations file PIL against making Kannada a mandatory subject in colleges
The petitioners have also stated that the government order does not specify as how the syllabus for Kannada language will be structured for those students from Karnataka who are from CBSE, ICSE etc
Four organisations from Bengaluru have moved the Karnataka High Court with a public interest litigation against the two orders issued by the state government that learning of Kannada at the graduation level is mandatory. Claiming that students coming from other states who have not learnt Kannada are bound to fail as they cannot study Kannada in college, the petitioners have also stated that the government orders would affect more than 1.30 lakh students and 4,000 language teachers in the state.
The petitioners - Samskrita Bharati (Karnataka) Trust, Mahavidyalaya Samskrita Pradhyapaka Sangha, Hayagriva Trust and Vyoma Linguistic Labs Foundation - have challenged the government orders dated August 7, 2021 and September 15, 2021 issued by the Department of Higher Education, seeking to implement the National Education Policy 2020 in the State of Karnataka.
The August 7 order lays down guidelines for the implementation of the NEP for degree courses and it also states that two languages have to be chosen along with their other subjects and one of the languages has to compulsorily be Kannada.
They have contended that Kannada has been made a mandatory language, therefore everyone has to opt for Kannada irrespective of whether they have previously studied Kannada in school or at the PU level. This means that every student who enrolls in a degree course in the state must study Kannada, this would include students from other states and countries irrespective of their mother tongue and regional language.
The petitioners have also stated that the government order does not specify as to how the syllabus for Kannada will be structured for those students from Karnataka who have been educated through different education boards such as CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE, State Board, etc. The petitioners claimed that the choice of choosing the language was dependent upon the student's preferences and thus students could opt for languages such as Kannada, Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, etc.
The petitioners also submitted that there are many students who are likely to study minority languages in degree courses. Such students and teachers who are teaching these languages will also be adversely affected due to the impugned government orders due to the compulsion imposed on them.
After hearing the arguments of the senior counsel representing the petitioners, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum adjourned the matter to Friday, as the government advocate had sought time.