The Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted the proposal mooted by the Centre that KV students of class VI, VII and VIII will not have to take examination for third modern Indian language Sanskrit in this academic session and they may continue to study German as an optional subject.
A bench headed by Justice A R Dave, however, asked the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to ensure that students, who want to pursue German or any other language as optional subjects, be provided with all facilities in KV schools across the country.
Disposing of the petition filed by some parents of KV students, the court said that it has perused the affidavits filed by the Centre and others including KVS and CBSE and the proposal looked practical.
"There will be no examinations for the students of class VI, VII and VIII for third language (Sanskrit) in this academic session and students can be assessed for German as an optional subject," the bench, also comprising Justice Kurian Joseph, said.
It further said that from the next academic session (2015-16), students will have to take examinations for third Indian language including Sanskrit.
"Students are free to learn German or any other language as an optional subject and facilities will be provided by KVS in this regard," it said, adding, "by virtue of Centre's statement, this petition is disposed of."
At the outset, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Human Resources Development Ministry, KVS and CBSE, referred to the affidavit filed yesterday by KVS and said German will remain as an optional subject and moreover, students will not have to take exams for Sanskrit or any other modern Indian language in the present academic session.
"The students of KV schools are also citizens of the country. The students in private schools are allowed to study foreign language of their choice and why KV students are deprived of their rights?," Reena Singh, appearing for parents of students, said.
Students, who have been exempted from taking Sanskrit Students, who have been exempted from taking Sanskrit examination this session, will have to take the test in the next academic session and it will add to their stress level, advocate Reena Singh said.
"Nothing is ideal in life," the AG replied and gave examples where students have to learn different regional languages when they get transferred from one to another state.
"Even in Kerala, Hindi is compulsory up to class VIII," Justice Joseph said, adding, "Sanskrit is the mother of all Indian languages."
Earlier, the court had asked the Centre to clarify the implications of its decision to introduce Sanskrit in place of German as the third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas.
The Centre's decision not to conduct exam for Sanskrit, introduced in the middle of the ongoing session, had come after the apex court had expressed concern that students would suffer because of government's decision.
The KVS, in its affidavit, referred to its communication with the CBSE and has informed the court that there will be no examination for the third language in this academic session (2014-15) for those students who have to take Sanskrit midway in place of German.
In its letter to the CBSE, KVS said this arrangement to exempt students from appearing in third language in class eight is in conflict with the scheme of studies prescribed by the Board.
"It is expected that all the students would have studied three languages up to class eight. Those students who could not clear the third language in class eight, and have been promoted to class nine, shall be examined by the school concerned at the end of class nine in the same syllabus and text books are prescribed for class eight.
"Those who are still unable to clear the third language at the end of class nine may be given another opportunity in class 10. No student shall be eligible to appear at the secondary school examination of the Board at the end of class 10 unless he/she has cleared the third language," the KVS letter said.
The CBSE in response to the KV's concern, said that in the interest of the students and in view of the emergency explained in the letter by the KVS, they are granted exemption from examination in 2014-15 in the third language by the CBSE.
"Thus, these students would be eligible to appear in the board examination of 2016-17," the CBSE has replied to the KVS.