SC Seeks Clarification From Government on Sanskrit Issue

Published: 08th December 2014 09:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2014 09:46 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

NEW DELHI: The central government Monday told the Supreme Court that the Kendriya Vidyalaya students who would not have the Sanskrit examination in the current academic year will not face any obstacle for appearing in the board examination of 10th standard conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said this to a bench of justices Anil R. Dave and Kurian Joseph as some of the parents opposing the mid-session switchover from German to Sanskrit told the court that the government's decision was in conflict with the CBSE curriculum, which says that clearing the test in third language is compulsory.

The government had decided that in the wake of a mid-session switch from German to Sanskrit, the students of class 6 to 8 in Kendriya Vidyalayas would not be tested in Sanskrit language, which has been made third compulsory language.

Appearing for 22 parents of the aggrieved students, lawyer Reema Singh told the court the CBSE curriculum says: "No student shall be eligible to appear at the Secondary School Examination of the Board at the end of class 10 unless he/she has cleared the third language."

Describing the way the government went about enforcing its decision as callous, Singh told the court that there was no application of mind by the bureaucrats in the human resource development (HRD) ministry and they have not even seen the CBSE curriculum.

Seeking to rest the apprehensions of the petitioner parents, Rohatgi said these students would face no difficulty for appearing in the secondary board examination.

He said the board examination at 10th level, as it is, are optional and the CBSE rules would not come in their way.

As the court wanted the government to clear the position on the issue, the attorney general said he would convene a meeting of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan, CBSE and the HRD ministry officials on the issue and get back to the court.

As Rohatgi said this, the court directed the listing of the matter Dec 16.

The central government Dec 5 had told the apex court that the switchover from German to Sanskrit as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas for the students of 6 to 8 standard would stay but there will be no Sanskrit exams in the current academic year.

German was introduced as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas following the signing of an MoU between the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan and the Goethe Institute of Max Mueller Bhavan in 2011 for the training of teachers for teaching German. The agreement, that was for three years, ended in 2014.

The central government, while introducing Sanskrit as third language, has taken a position that the MoU between the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan and the Goethe Institute of Max Mueller Bhavan in 2011 was illegal and was in violation of constitutional provisions.

The government decision of switchover affected 70,000 Kendriya Vidyalaya students who were studying German.

The court, in the earlier hearings, was told by the government that under the constitution the three-language formula says that besides English and Hindi, students have to learn a regional language as a third language.

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