Decision deferred for talks with linguistic minorities: Joseph
Minister for Cultural Affairs K.C. Joseph has said that the State government does not intend to roll back its decision to make proficiency in Malayalam compulsory for government jobs. He also dismissed media reports that the Cabinet planned to go back on its decision in this regard.
At a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Joseph said the final decision was deferred by the State Cabinet to enable adequate discussions with linguistic minorities to allay their concerns.
He said the United Democratic Front (UDF) government had taken the lead in making language proficiency mandatory. The proposal was first put forth as part of its 100-day action programme.
There was no need to question the commitment of the government towards the proposal, he said.
He said that the linguistic minorities of Idukki and Kasaragod had raised concerns over the move and the issue had come up for discussion at the Assembly.
The Chief Minister had then provided an assurance that a final decision would be adopted only after addressing all such apprehensions. The item had been removed from the agenda of the previous Cabinet meeting to facilitate the exercise, Mr. Joseph said.
He said steps towards implementing the move had been initiated by the Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Official Language) Department. The department had put forth the directive that candidates entering government services who were inept in language must pass the eligibility test equivalent to SSLC Malayalam examination within their probation period.
The directive has been endorsed by the Education Department and the Kerala Public Service Commission.
Measures were also made for its inclusion in the Kerala State and Subordinate Service Rules.
However, such measures would be implemented only after holding discussions with the sections concerned, Mr. Joseph said.