Bengaluru: In what can be termed as a setback to the Karnataka Government, the High Court (HC) on Wednesday stayed implementation of the State Government’s two communications issued in August-September last year, making Kannada a compulsory language for Under-Graduate (UG) courses from the 2021-22 academic year, while citing the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020).
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar, which heard the petitions filed by Samskrita Bharati (Karnataka)Trust and others, passed the interim order, taking note of the clarification given by the Union Government that ‘there is no mention of any compulsory language in the NEP-2020.’
“In view of the stand taken by the Union Government that Kannada language cannot be made as a compulsory subject in higher studies for the purpose of implementation of NEP-2020, we prima facie find that the impugned Government orders of Aug.7, 2021 and Sept.15, 2021,cannot be implemented or put to operation till further orders,” the Bench said while staying both the Government orders.
The Court, in its earlier interim order on Dec.12, 2021, had directed the State Government not to insist on making Kannada as a compulsory language.
The petitioners had contended that the very act of making a language as compulsory was contrary to the objective of NEP-2020, which purports to offer a choice-based system to promote inclusivity and access to education.