Why punish KV students by introducing Sanskrit in mid session: SC

SansadTV Bureau

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to consider not replacing German language with Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalayas in the middle of the ongoing academic session and implement the decision from next academic year, saying “Why are you punishing students for your mistake?”.

While appreciating Centre’s decision to introduce Sanskrit in classes 6 to 8, the apex court, however, said that changing the language in the middle of the session would put additional burden on the students.

A bench headed by Justice A R Dave, turned down the plea of the Centre which contended that German language cannot be a third language as the Memorandum of Understanding signed three years back by the government with German authority is wrong and cannot be followed.

“Why are you punishing students for your mistake?,” the bench asked.

It asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to consult the HRD ministry on postponing the implementation of the decision on Sanskrit to next academic year.

“Think from students and parents point of view. Let this academic year continue and you better implement it next year,” it said.

The bench said that introducing Sanskrit is a good decision as it is mother of all languages.

“Why should we forget about our culture. With Sanskrit you can learn other languages easily as it is mother of all languages,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a group of parents of KV students who challenged Centre’s decision to replace German language with Sanskrit in mid of ongoing academic session.

Earlier, on November 21, the apex court had agreed to give an urgent hearing on the petition.

The Board of Governors (BoG) of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), headed by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, had in its meeting on October 27 decided that “teaching of German language as an option to Sanskrit will be discontinued herewith”. German has been kept as an additional subject for students.

The decision is expected to affect over 75,000 students across 500 KVs from classes 6 to 8 who will be asked to switch from German to Sanskrit.

Challenging the decision, the petitioners had said, “The KVS has failed to take into account the pertinent fact that such a decision cannot be taken mid-session as it would amount to throwing into complete disarray the overall academic preparation of the affected students.”

They had said, “the government should not take such an arbitrary and hasty decision at this belated stage and without any consultation with the affected students and parents.