Traditional Sanskrit schools, known as ved pathshalas, will be exempt from the Right to Education Act and their students will be allowed to later join mainstream schooling, human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday.
The assurance came after some of Hinduism's most revered institutions – including the Kanchi Matha, the Ahobila Matha, the Andayan Ashrama and the Arya Samaj – demanded exemption for the pathshalas, as was reported by HT on Monday.
A delegation of these institutions, led by Pandit NK Sharma, founder president of the Universal Association for Spiritual Awareness, met the minister on Tuesday.
Sibal promised to withdraw a controversial order issued by the HRD ministry's Ujjain-based Maharishi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratishthan, which threatened to stop grants to the pathshalas unless they obtained recognition under the RTE Act.
The Mathas, the Arya Samaj, and the Sanskrit schools are arguing that the RTE Act could inadvertently end up killing the centuries-old tradition of oral Vedic chanting taught at about 1,000 pathshalas across India.
Sibal also promised that students from the schools would be allowed to appear for the Class X board examinations through the National Institute of Open Schooling.
Many students who join the pathshalas at an early age join mainstream schooling by appearing for the Class X exam.