Kannada in UG courses: ‘Will advise Govt. to reconsider policy’

A file photo of students at the Maharani Women’s Arts, Commerce and Management College in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALIKUMAR

The State Advocate-General on Tuesday assured the High Court of Karnataka that he would advise the State Government to reconsider its new policy of making Kannada a compulsory language for undergraduate courses from the academic year 2021–22.

A-G Prabhuling K. Navadgi gave the assurance after a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum, orally indicated to the A-G that it would stay Government Orders of making Kannada a compulsory language for UG courses if the Government was not inclined to reconsider its decision.

The Bench adjourned further hearing till November 10 on the petitions, filed by Samskrita Bharati (Karnataka) Trust, and other educational institutions, while orally making it clear to the A-G that it was adjourning the hearing with a clear understanding that the Government would reconsider the decision.

Earlier, A-G told the court that students of UG courses are required to study only “functional Kannada” and not as a full-scale subject and the functional Kannada course will be only for six months so that students know Kannada when they seek employment in Karnataka.

However, the Bench orally observed that the Government may impose restriction on Kannada at the time of employment but it cannot impose the language on UG students.

The petitioners have challenged the legality of the GOs issued on August 7, 2021, and September, 15, 2021, making Kannada one of the two languages to be compulsorily studied in UG courses, irrespective of the languages they studied up to Class XII, the State from which they hail, and their mother tongue or the regional language.

Pointing out that the NEP 2020 does not specify any mandatory language criteria for higher education courses, the petitioners have contended the GOs issued in the guise of implementing NEP 2020 take away the choice-based credit system offered in the NEP to promote inclusivity and access to education, and making Kannada as a compulsory subject is contrary to the object of NEP 2020.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 6:08:50 AM |

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