The Karnataka High Court on Thursday, November 11 pulled up the state government for making studying of the local language Kannada compulsory for graduation students, asking why it is bringing in politics in education. A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, posed the question as it took up the PIL petition in this regard filed by the Sanskrita Bharatha Trust and others seeking quashing of the order.
The court had directed the government to revisit its decision of making the local language compulsory for graduation students. As counsel for the government maintained that the government has an objective of making students learn Kannada language and there is scope for encouraging its learning, the bench expressed its dissatisfaction over this and questioned why politics is being dragged into education.
Asking if the state government knows how many students had gone out due to this, it also asked if it is tenable to make Kannada language compulsory as it is not mandatory under the New Education Policy (NEP). "Where is the provision to make Kannada compulsory in higher education," the bench asked.
As counsel for the government sought time for submitting arguments in this regard, the bench adjourned the matter to November 15.
The petition submitted that the Karnataka government has made studying Kannada language compulsory for graduation in its order on August 7 and argued that this is against Articles 14, 19, 21, 29 and 30 of the Constitution.
The state government has made Kannada subject compulsory for students in graduation courses though learning of Kannada is not compulsory under the NEP.
Earlier on October 26, the Karnataka High Court had asked the state government to reconsider its decision to make learning of Kannada language compulsory for college students.