Published: 26th October 2021
If Karnataka won't reconsider its decision, will have to stay proceedings: HC tells Govt over making Kannada compulsory for UG courses
Whatever, in any manner, you cannot impose any subject for the students who come to Karnataka, said the High Court to the government
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday orally indicated that it will have to intervene if the state government does not reconsider its decision to make Kannada a compulsory language for undergraduate courses in the state from the academic year 2021-22 as part of implementing the National Education Policy 2020.A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum adjourned the hearing of this PIL.
Earlier this month, four organisations including Samskrita Bharati (Karnataka) Trust, Mahavidyalaya Samskrita Pradhyapaka Sangha, Hayagriva Trust and Vyoma Linguistic Labs Foundation— had 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.
When the PIL was taken up for hearing, the Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadagi raised the preliminary objection arguing that the government's policy has been challenged by Samskrita Bharati (Karnataka) Trust and others. If anybody was aggrieved by the policy, it was students and teachers, who have to come before the court, he argued.
Then the court orally observed that the state does not insist on Kannada being made mandatory. "Whatever, in any manner, you cannot impose any subject for the students who come to Karnataka. For the job seekers from other states, you can put a condition, so that we can give you time for reconsideration of the decision. You cannot enforce it. We will have to see the interest of the students. Better reconsider your decision. If you say so, we will give you time, otherwise we will stay the decision," the court said while adjourning the hearing to November 10, 2021.
Claiming that students coming from other states who have not learned Kannada are bound to fail as they cannot study Kannada at graduation level which has been made compulsory, 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 August 7 order by the Higher Education Department stated in its 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, reported The New Indian Express.
The petitioners have contended that every student has to opt for Kannada irrespective of whether they have previously studied Kannada in school or pre-university. This means that every student who enrolls for a degree course in the state must study Kannada, which includes students from other states/countries irrespective of their mother tongue and regional language, they claimed.