In what could come as relief to a lot of students, the Karnataka government in a fresh order has said that foreign students, students from other states or those students who have not studied Kannada will have to study the language in only one semester in the first year of their undergraduate courses even with the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020.
Stepping back on its mandatory Kannada order partially, the state government has exempted non-domicile students from studying Kannada as one of the languages in all semesters.
In a previous government order on August 7 that carried guidelines on the implementation of National Education Policy 2020, the government had mandated Kannada as one of the languages to be learnt. It was said that outstation studies will study a basic Kannada textbook while the local students could follow a usual curriculum.
The revised order issued on September 15 rolls back the same. Outstation students must now study only ‘Functional Kannada’ in any of the first two semesters, following which two languages of their choice can be chosen in the subsequent semesters. The exemption has been made to students from other states, foreign students or those students who have not studied Kannada in any of the classes up to pre-university or class 12.
For students hailing from Karnataka and those who have studied Kannada previously in school, it has been mandated that they study the language for the first four semesters along with another language of their choice.
Recently, an incident in one of the private colleges in Bengaluru also came to light where three students withdrew their application from a degree course, writing an e-mail to the principal of the college that their disagreement with the implementation of NEP and Kannada mandate was the reason for withdrawal of application.
Among the other clarifications, the state has said that students might opt to study Open electives of their choice in each of the semesters. It is not mandatory to continue the same open elective chosen in semester 1.
“Technically there is a challenge. If the student opts for functional kannada in semester 1 and choses Sanskrit or Hindi in semester 2, then they have missed the first semester’s syllabus. There will be a discontinuation,” said Dr BG Bhaskara, President, Federation of University and College Teachers ‘ Associations in Karnataka.
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