‘To promote mother tongue’: Punjab govt makes Punjabi compulsory in schools

The language is mandatory in offices as well, chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced in a tweet.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi (File Photo/HT)
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi (File Photo/HT)
Published on Nov 12, 2021 12:58 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced on Friday that Punjabi will now be a compulsory subject for all students in the state, from classes 1-10. In addition to this, the language is mandatory in offices as well, Channi said in a Twitter post.

“To promote mother tongue, Punjabi has been made a compulsory subject for all students in classes 1 to 10 in Punjab. Schools will be fined up to 2 lakh for violation. Now, Punjabi is mandatory in offices. Also, Punjabi will be written on top of all the boards in the state,” the chief minister said in a tweet, in both Punjabi and English.

The Punjab CM's announcement comes just a day after the state legislative assembly, on Thursday, passed 15 bills, including two related to the Punjabi language: Punjabi and Other Languages Education (Amendment) Bill, 202, and Punjab State Language Amendment Bill, 2021. While the former makes the language a compulsory subject in schools, the other directs that all official business be conducted in Punjabi. In case of violation, the fine is 2 lakh under the former, while, under the latter, a penalty of 500, 2000 and 5000 will be imposed for first, second and third violations respectively.

Also Read | Bill cleared to make Punjabi compulsory for Classes 1-10

The state government's move comes in the backdrop of a recent announcement by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) that the status of Punjabi was being moved from ‘major’ to ‘minor’ subject. On objection by the Channi government, CBSE clarified that all regional languages have been classified as ‘minor subjects’ for first-term exams of classes 10 and 12 of the board.

Also Read | Punjabi in Punjab schools: Rhetoric versus reality

The move also comes just months ahead of assembly elections in the northern state, which are likely to take place in February-March. The ruling Congress, which returned to power with a brute majority in 2017, is looking at another five years in power though it recently elevated Channi to the state's top post as successor to Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned in September, and under whose leadership the party won the 2017 polls.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021