Confusion reigns among banking exam candidates in the State on whether the upcoming exams for recruitment of clerks in nationalised banks, tentatively scheduled for December 2019 or January 2020, will be held in Kannada or not. It has now been clarified that these exams will be held only in English and Hindi, as always, and not in Kannada.
The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) recently issued a notification for these exams, which have never been held in regional languages.
However, Kannada activists and a section of media confused the same with recruitment for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), which Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 4 promised to hold in 13 Indian languages apart from Hindi and English. The activists, a section of media, and Opposition leaders Siddaramaiah and H.D. Kumaraswamy also added to the confusion by criticising the Finance Minister for “going back on her promise.”
The official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Finance stated on Friday night that IBPS will notify a revised schedule for online exams for Officer Scale 1 and Office Assistant for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to be English and regional language of the applicant’s State.
This, however, further fuelled confusion, with many now assuming that the Finance Minister “bowing down to pressure from Karnataka” has announced banking exams in Kannada and other regional languages. Many have assumed that this refers to IBPS exams as well.
“There has been a lot of confusion on whether the upcoming exams will be held in Kannada or not. This may lead to misinformation among rural aspirants,” said Avinash K., an aspirant from the State. The RRB recruitments were earlier held at the State level in local language apart from English. However, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government centralised recruitments for RRBs in 2014 and began holding the exams only in English and Hindi. Following criticism, Ms. Sitharaman announced that RRB exams will be held in 13 regional languages apart from English. This does not concern recruitment exams for nationalised banks.
Now, some campaigners are also demanding recruitment exams for nationalised banks in Kannada, a demand that the Union government is yet to consider. “If Hindi speakers can write the exam in their mother tongue, why not others?” argued Arun Javagal, an activist from Banavasi Balaga.