Relaxation likely for candidates belonging to linguistic minorities
The State government is likely to stick to the norm that any person seeking to enter State government service should be proficient in Malayalam. However, candidates belonging to linguistic minorities are likely to be exempted from the norm.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Culture Minister K.C. Joseph held talks with legislators representing constituencies with a high density of linguistic minorities here on Thursday and promised to consider their plea for relaxation of the language norm for candidates who have never studied Malayalam.
Mr. Joseph told The Hindu after the meeting that the Cabinet would consider the MLAs’ request and take a final decision in the matter. Till 1998, job aspirants who had not studied Malayalam either as first or second language in Class 10 or Class 12 were required to pass a special language examination within four years of their appointment if their service was to be confirmed. The government had amended the norm in 1998 granting those belonging to this category 10 years’ time to clear the special language examination.
At the meeting, the MLAs P.B. Abdul Razak (Majeswaram), N.A. Nellikkunnu (Kasaragod) and E.S. Bijimol (Peerumade) pointed out that Malayalam was not being taught in around 300 schools in linguistic minority-dominated areas. Students in these schools studied Tamil or Kannada. As such, the government should either retain the existing norms or provide candidates from such areas more time to study Malayalam, they said.
The Culture Minister said that the Chief Minister had assured the MLAs that the Cabinet would take into account their plea for retention of the new norm when a decision in the matter is taken. However, under no circumstance would the government grant any such relaxation to any other candidate. All such candidates should clear the special Malayalam test before completing their probatio.