Sanskrit row: Government cautions German envoy

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 15, 2014 00:49 IST

The government has issued a word of caution to the German embassy over the issue of Sanskrit replacing German as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas, saying they should go by the “Indian rules and regulations” in the efforts to move ahead.

External affairs ministry conveyed this to Martin Hanz, deputy chief of mission at the German embassy in New Delhi, during what sources described as a “diplomatic conversation” last week.

“We have had diplomatic conversation on how to move ahead with the issue within parameters of Indian rules and regulations,” sources familiar with the development told HT. When asked for their response German embassy said, “we don’t want to comment”.

About 75,000 students of classes 6 to 8, likely to be affected by the decision, will be given an option to pick the language of their choice. The HRD ministry has been defending the decision, saying the existing arrangement — stemming from a 2011 MoU — was in violation of the three-language formula. The matter is also under the consideration of the Indian judiciary, sources pointed out, giving out one more reason as to why the mission should be sensitive in dealing with the issue.

According to sources, the meeting took place in the background of a series of developments over the issue, such as public statements from the embassy, including the German ambassador to India.

However, there is a sense of urgency on both sides to ensure the issue doesn’t continue emerge as a hindrance in bilateral ties as the two countries have a hectic diplomatic schedule ahead.

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