Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh on Wednesday clarified that neither the state nor the central government has issued any directions regarding selecting Hindi-speaking students for the ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ tour programme.
The Minister’s clarification came following controversy over a circular issued by the Deputy Director for Pre-University Education Department (Bengaluru South) instructing colleges to choose students who can speak Hindi for the tour.
The circular has elicited sharp reactions alleging ”Hindi imposition”.
”Neither the Centre nor the state government has given instruction that knowledge of Hindi or English language were mandatory for students to take part in a tour programme to other states, as part of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav (75 years of Independence),” Nagesh said in a tweet.
The department will take disciplinary action against officials or staff responsible for creating confusion, he said.
As part of the tour programme, a total of 50 students will be sent to Uttarakhand in a batch and the equal number of students will be travelling from the northern state to Karnataka.
The contents of the purported circular which have gone viral states that, as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ under ‘ Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ a tour programme has been organised for students to other states, for which two students (a boy and a girl) from Bengaluru South district of Pre-University department have to be selected.
It further states, ”among the students studying in second year PUC at college, it has been instructed to select students who can speak Hindi, have understanding of technology, and are interested in cultural and sports activities.” The colleges have been directed in the circular to share the list of such students to the Deputy Director’s office and the final selection of students will be done by the Deputy Director.
Following the controversy Kannada Development Authority (KDA) Chairperson T S Nagabharana has written to the department urging it to change the criterion of selection and provide opportunity to students, who speak Kannada.