Karnataka: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday blocked the state government’s mandate to make Kannada a compulsory subject in higher education as part of implementing the National Education Policy (NEP) -2020 from the 2021-22 academic year.
The government’s decision to make Kannada compulsory in graduate education is a setback. Chief Justice Rituraj, who was present at the hearing of petitions filed by some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some Sangh Bharati Trust, on the orders issued by the state government to make Kannada compulsory, issued a stay order.
“The Central Government has made it clear that regional language learning has not been made compulsory under the National Education Policy.
“The central government has made it clear that regional languages are not mandatory under the national education policy. So why are Kannada language learning being imposed on students from outside? Clause to learn Kannada to get a job. However, Kannada learning cannot be imposed on education. Students who do not learn Kannada before graduation will suffer from government policy. The government should reconsider its decision, ”the bench said.
“The mandate of the state government to make Kannada language a subject in state colleges is unconstitutional. Kannada education is not mandatory in the national education policy. Kannada is not compulsory in school learning. In such a situation, Kannada learning is compulsory at the graduate level. This has been a problem for students from outside countries and has impeded the choice of language content in the degree. The government order should be rescinded, ”the petitioner requested.
Advocate General Prabhu Linga, who appeared on behalf of the government, said, ‘Kannada is being introduced to learn as a linguistic subject. But, classically, Kannada is not meant to be taught. Kannada language learning is mandatory as part of government policy. This is a well-intentioned effort. Learning Kannada can help you get a job in the state. Teachers and students should come to court if there is a problem with a government order or a national education policy. Questioning in the form of a public interest petition is not sustainable, ”he explained to the bench.
The petitioners argued that students from other states who did not learn Kannada would fail because they could not learn the language at graduation and argued that the government order would affect 1.30 lakh students and 4,000 language teachers.
He argued on behalf of the state government that mandating Kannada was a policy decision in line with the recommendations of the VK Gokak Committee report. Already four lakh students have chosen Kannada as a subject and admission is almost over. The government says that there is no candidate to learn Kannada in higher studies.