The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday, December 4 defended its decision to introduce a compulsory paper on Tamil language in competitive exams for eligibility for entry into state government services. The Tamil proficiency contemplated by the government is only upto the level of Class 10 standard, Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said.
The new norm does not expect a level of knowledge expected from a person who held a doctorate in the Tamil language, he added. A score of 40% is sufficient to clear the Tamil exam, he underscored.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, the Minister said a job in the state government and allied services brought employees in direct touch with the local people every day for discharge of their duties.Hence, if an aspirant does not have Tamil knowledge conforming to Class 10 standard and in case he or she could not even secure 40 marks and clear the Tamil paper, such a person would not be suitable for services under the Tamil Nadu government, he said.
In the past, there have been some instances when people without Tamil knowledge were recruited to a state-run entity, he said.
The government announced on Friday that all state government held competitive exams would from now on have a compulsory paper in the Tamil language and a pass in the subject is the basic qualifying norm for entry to Tamil Nadu government services and state-run public sector enterprises.
Speaking to reporters, Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said Chief Minister MK Stalin extended a slew of welfare schemes and assistance for the benefit of several lakh migrant workers hailing from outside of Tamil Nadu, including during the pandemic times. "We understand the dignity of labour, the value of labour." At the same time, the Tamil norm is not applicable to the private sector and firms are free to recruit people of their choice from anywhere, he told reporters. Out of a population of about eight crore, only nine lakh are in government service in TN, he said. The role of government employees is important and they should be from all communities and state's regions, he said, adding they need to be recruited in a proper manner and continuously trained as was being done now by the DMK regime.