Language skill test for non-Kannadigas likely

The Sarojini Mahishi Report had recommended reservation for Kannadigas in jobs in the private sector in Karnataka.

Published: 09th August 2020 06:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2020 06:14 AM   |  A+A-

Exam, Writing

For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Non-Kannadigas who plan to study or work in Karnataka may soon have to take up a Kannada language skills exam on the lines of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 
The Kannada Development Authority (KDA), which is working on the module, is expected to roll it out by November 1.

The Sarojini Mahishi Report had recommended reservation for Kannadigas in jobs in the private sector in Karnataka. Since the state cannot make it mandatory, it amended the Karnataka Industrial Employment Rules, 1961, a few months ago stressing that priority should be given to Kannadigas in private sector jobs. As per the rules, those residing in Karnataka for not less than 15 years and who can write, read, talk and understand Kannada are eligible to be recruited by private industries for clerical and other jobs.

“We are preparing some modules similar to TOEFL and one has to clear it to study or work here. There will two modules — one for the skilled labour class and another for the white collar employees. It will be simple Kannada,’’ KDA Chairman T S Nagabharana told TNSE. 

‘If we do not insist that they learn Kannada, who will?’

The TOEFL is a standardised test to gauge the English language skills of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities. Preliminary meetings in this connection have already been conducted. The KDA chairman said short-term coaching classes will be conducted for the benefit of those wanting to take up studies or work in the state.

“If we do not insist that they learn Kannada, who will? When IAS and IPS officers posted here, especially from outside Karnataka, can learn the language, why can’t others’’? he questioned. If implemented, Karnataka will be the first state to do so, Nagabharana stressed. “This can be a model for other states to have a similar mechanism,’’ he added.  


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  • WishToRemainAnonymous

    The only other state that is so hell-bent on regionalism is Tamil Nadu (and arguably Maharashtra). They recently went vocal against the Central Govt plan to include Hindi in the curriculum. Plain old politics. I have friends from the North that suffer in TN because they are unable to use Hindi/English even for minimal things (yes, English obviously works in office buildings with reception desks but the need is elsewhere). Focus on utility should be the primary goal for India as continue to have issues with unity based on something as trivial as language. Having only movie dialogues promoting unity will only take you so far. It has to begin with making guests welcome. Just imagine people of non-Indian origin coming over here and trying to navigate the streets (I have had to chaperone my colleagues because of this problem when they visit from the US office etc). They simply cannot order a taxi and expect to know where they are being taken when street sign boards are in the local language. Whatever is the problem to keep it dual/triple-language when we can spend on statues of obscure people. COVID-19 has made it easier on companies to experiment with IT employees working remotely. This move will make it easier for people to move out of Bengaluru. Yes, tax breaks will be lost but every state that doesn't have a flourishing IT sector will lap it up (or another established place like Pune will). And from employees' perspective, they will get to stay near their home towns. Win for everyone except Karnataka. I, for one, will be happy to know we will retain our employees even if we have to keep them remote. If Karnataka had included it in the curriculum for school students, I would have not just had no problems but have actually been happy. Learning a new language broadens ones horizons in thought patterns in addition to bridging communication issues (latter, obviously). I understand how people feel happy to speak in their mother tongue with anyone they come across. But the govt trying to force adults to do this when they already have a bunch of commitments is possibly legal, but in my opinion unethical.
    11 months ago reply
    • Hari Shyam

      I have a friend who's struggling at Delhi because he simply cannot use Tamil even for minimal things. Broaden your horizons by learning Tamil then? Basic education is including English nowadays and that alone can bring about Unity. Please think about the minorities as well when you think of Unity
      11 months ago reply
    • AP

      Good assessment. I feel it is high time MNCs and other prestigious institutions move out of Bangalore. The city is an utter mess today
      11 months ago reply
  • Avinash

    Finally I can speak to anyone in Kannada in Karnataka. Desperate time
    11 months ago reply
  • narayan

    good move
    11 months ago reply
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