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Third language issue: HC seeks KVS response


New Delhi, July 9 :

The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the KVS to respond to a plea filed by Sanskrit scholars against a circular that allows students to study foreign languages instead of Sanskrit as the third language.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw said the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) should submit its response before the next date of hearing Aug 6 or else the KVS commissioner will have to be present in court in person.
KVS had not filed its response on the plea earlier despite court’s order.

The KVS issued a circular in 2010, directing Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country to introduce foreign languages in place of Sanskrit as the third language in classes VI-VIII from the 2011-12 academic session.

The PIL filed by the Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, an umbrella body of teachers and scholars of the language, claims the move not only violates the National Education Policy and the Three Language Formula of 1988, but will also do “irreparable damage to Sanskrit language and Indian culture”.

The Three Language Formula prescribes teaching English, one regional language, and one language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. In Delhi, most schools offer Hindi, English and one “modern Indian language” or Sanskrit.

Advocate Monika Arora told the court the KVS circular was also against the provision of the Right to Education Act since it called for training of the existing TGT language teachers in the languages so they could eventually teach the foreign languages to the class VI-VIII students.

She added “the eligibility criteria for teachers are also being violated”.

The counsel for the central government, however, told the court the government was “taking steps to preserve the ancient Sanskrit language”.

“We want Sanskrit to come up,” the counsel said.