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No language mandate in NEP, centre tells Karnataka High Court

March 9, 2022

In relation to petitions filed against a state government order, the centre filed an affidavit before the Karnataka High Court citing that no language has been made compulsory under the National Education Policy 2020.

The affidavit was filed by Dinesh T Pali, undersecretary, department of higher education under the ministry of education submitted to the HC that the NEP is envisioned to achieve a comprehensive educational system that is easily accessible by all. This is also designed to meet requirements of learners at regional, local and national levels.

NEP-2020 provides for moving towards a higher education system consisting of large, multi-disciplinary universities and colleges, with at least one in or near every district, and with more higher education institutions across India that offer medium of instruction or programme in local/Indian languages,” the Ministry of Education has stated in its affidavit.  

This comes in response to a Karnataka High court directive asking the centre to clarify whether the NEP had mandated learning a particular language.

To recollect, the Karnataka government passed an order in August 2021, mandating all students pursuing higher education in the state to learn Kannada as one of the optional languages under NEP, which is being implemented from the current academic year.

Following this, some organisations working towards promotion of Sanskrit language petitioned the HC citing that the state’s order claimed that compelling students to learn Kannada was against the spirit of NEP. The court, hearing the matter had in turn asked the centre to give a clear stand on what its stand was regarding the language policy.

They also sought that an order passed by the state in September 2021, relaxing the previously issued asking students from other states or countries to mandatorily learn ‘Functional Kannada’ be quashed. 

Also read:

Tamil Nadu On NEP: “Will never allow 3 language formula”

NEP 2020: SCHOOL EDUCATION | Multilingualism

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