Delhi High Court seeks explanation from Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan
The court order came on a PIL filed by Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh
The Delhi High Court on November 27 sought explanation from Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to explain whether the Sanskrit is being replaced, as a third language, by German, French, Chinese and Spanish in schools run it. A bench comprising of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Manmohan directed the KVS to file its affidavit on the issue by February 19, 2014.
The court order came on a PIL filed by Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, an umbrella body of teachers and scholars of the language, claiming the move not only violates the National Education Policy and the Three Language Formula of 1988, but would also do ‘irreparable damage to Sanskrit language and Indian culture.’
It is to be noted that KVS had issued a circular in 2010, directing the Kendriya Vidyalayas all over the country to introduce foreign languages in place of Sanskrit as third language from the academic session 2011-12 in classes VI-VIII. 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, representing the Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, told the court that the circular issued by KVS in 2010 was also against the provision of the Right to Education Act since it called for training of existing TGT language teachers in the languages so that they could eventually teach the foreign languages to the students of classes VI to VIII. “The eligibility criteria for teachers are also being violated, Smt Arora said. The advocate for the Centre, however, told the bench that the government was ‘taking steps to preserve Sanskrit language’. “We want Sanskrit to come up,” the counsel said.
The petition said the respondents should be directed ‘to take effective measures for promotion and education of Sanskrit as provided in National Curriculum Framework for School Education and also satisfying various provisions of the Constitution of India”.
The group of Sanskrit scholars had approached Delhi High Court in May this year against the KVS circular. Sanskrit Shikshak Sangathan general secretary Dr V Dayalu said the organisation had exhausted all avenues before approaching the court. “We had sent representations to the KVS, sent letters to the HRD Ministry, we even had the question raised in Parliament by some MPs, but the HRD Ministry did not take any action. If the language dies out, Indian culture will be destroyed,” said Shri Dayalu.
The court in May had asked the petitioner to submit a list of KVs which offer Sanskrit as the third language in Delhi. “Will Sanskrit be counted as mother tongue in Delhi?” the bench had asked. The court had also issued notices to Ministry of Human Resource Development, CBSE and KVS and sought their responses by May 15.