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BJP govt’s decision to ‘impose’ Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalayas spark controversy

November 15, 2014 | By

New Delhi: The Hindutva government in India has decided to enforce ‘Sanskrit’ as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas (Center’s schools). The October 27 decision of the Kendriya Vidyalaya governing board to discontinue teaching German as an option to Sanskrit could affect about 70,000 students from classes 6-8.

India’s Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani said that the decision was taken in “national interest”.

As the Sanskrit has replaced “German” as third language in KVs, a row has erupted over the issue that has assumed a diplomatic shade. Media reports says the Germany has raised the issue with New Delhi.

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, Chandigarh [File Photo]

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31, Chandigarh [File Photo]

German ambassador to India Michael Steiner said on Friday (Nov. 14) that he had held talks with the government on the issue. “My feeling is that the Indian government will find a pragmatic solution… It’s a win-win-win situation in the interest of students, India and Germany,” he said.

It is notable that the German was introduced in Kendriya Vidyalayas after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2011 by KVs which made German as ‘third language’ in KVs. Media reports say that Germany is one of the desired destinations of students from India who wish to pursue higher studies abroad.

However India’s Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani on Friday defended the decision and said the decision would not impact students.

Irani maintained that the language would still be taught under foreign language category. She said that the 2011 MoU signed by the Kendriya Vidyalaya which made German a ‘third language’ as a subject in schools was in violation of the “national education policy” and that the 27 October decision was taken in “national interest”.

The decision had invited ire from NDA ally Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) which asked the government to revoke the decision. The diktat “is a planned imposition of Sanskrit,” PMK chief Ramadoss said.


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