With the pleas on State government’s contentious 1994 language policy scheduled to come up for hearing before the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court next week, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education on Thursday held a meeting with academicians, writers and senior officials to chalk out legal strategy to defend its policy on medium of instruction.

Majority of the participants in the meeting favoured State’s language policy of 1994, which has made the medium of instruction from class one to class four should be in Kannada or child’s mother tongue.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mukhyamanthri Chandru, Chairman, Kannada Development Authority said, “It would not be proper to make students of Government schools study in Kannada medium and those studying in private schools to pursue education in English medium as private schools impart education in English medium in view of High Court’s verdict.”

Mr. Chandru also emphasised the need for the government to evolve a national policy on medium of instruction.

Echoing Mr. Chandru’s views writer Bargur Ramachandrappa also favoured State’s 1994 policy.

Speaking to presspersons after the deliberations, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, Kimmane Ratnakar said the department has requested those who attended the meeting to give their views in writing so that it would help the State Advocate General defend the policy before the Apex Court.

The Karnataka High Court in its 2008 verdict had quashed the language policy and said the government could not compel students studying in private schools to study in the mother tongue or regional language as it was violation of Articles 19 (1) (g), 26 and 30 (1) of the Constitution. The appeal filed by the State against this verdict is pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.

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