Consider not replacing German with Sanskrit in KVs in mid-session: SC asks Centre

Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, Nov 28: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to consider not replacing German language with Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalayas in the middle of the ongoing academic session.

The Apex Court reportedly asked the government to implement the decision from next academic year saying “Why are you punishing students for your mistake?”.

The Centre on Thursday had submitted before the court that Sanskrit will be the third language in classes 6 to 8 in Kendriya Vidyalayas.

Appearing before the bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi sought its permission to file an affidavit on the controversy arising out of Centre’s decision to drop German as an alternative to Sanskrit as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas.

Earlier, on November 21, the apex court had agreed to give an urgent hearing on the petitions filed by a group of parents of Kendriya Vidyalaya students on the issue.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, however, had stated that the government did not renew the MoU on German language as it would have been a violation of the Constitution.

Irani had said: “German is a foreign language which is being taught as a foreign language and I feel that a controversy is being created deliberately because in a press briefing four days ago, I had specified everything.”

Speaking to media persosn, she reportedly had said: “The Centre cannot deliberately approve an MoU, which violates the three-language formula which is already being implemented in 33 states.”

She also raised doubts about the timing of the entire controversy, saying: “As per Schedule 8 of the Constitution, 22 languages were available which did not include German. This MoU was presenting German as third language, which was a violation of the Constitution.”

She further said: “This renewal came up in September, but a controversy is being created in November. This in itself is a questionable thing.”

The students were free to choose any Indian language, and German was already being taught as a foreign language, she added.

It may be noted that Irani had earlier this month announced that German had been removed from the option of ‘third language’ in Kendriya Vidyalayas, as the provision to include it as a third language was in violation of Indian policies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly raised the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the two leaders met in Brisbane on the sidelines of G-20 Summit earlier this month.

(With Agency Inputs)

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