[lg policy] Karnataka: Medium of instruction issue: State plans to amend Central Act

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 16:18:50 UTC 2015

   BANGALORE, January 30, 2015
Updated: January 30, 2015 05:43 IST
Medium of instruction issue: State plans to amend Central Act

Despite the Supreme Court striking down the State’s language policy in
September 2014, the Siddaramaiah government seems all set to harden its
position on implementing Kannada as the compulsory medium of instruction
for primary education (classes 1 to 5)

Explaining a decision taken at a Cabinet meeting here on Thursday,
Principal Secretary in charge of Primary and Secondary Education Sanjeev
Kumar told *The Hindu* that the government would amend the Right of
Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, a Central Act, which
comes under the Concurrent List.

While Section 29 (f) of the Act reads, “medium of instruction shall, as far
as practicable, be the mother tongue”, the State’s amendment would seek to
remove “as far as practicable” from the Act, thus making the mother tongue,
which, in Karnataka is construed as Kannada, compulsory, added Mr. Kumar.
Such an amendment would also require the President’s assent, added legal
experts. Speaking to reporters, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B.
Jayachandra said, “Our strategy is to make a law on the medium of
instruction to impress upon the Supreme Court during the hearing on the
curative and contempt of court petitions.”

While the State has filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court
challenging the 2014 order, private schools have filed contempt petitions
against the State.


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