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Sanskrit now compulsory for even Class 1, 2 students in Uttarakhand

dehradun Updated: Aug 31, 2017 20:30 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Sanskrit,education

Hindi and Sanskrit are the two official languages in the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand.(HT Photo)

On a mission mode to revive and popularise Sanskrit, the BJP government in Uttarakhand has decided to introduce and compulsorily teach the language beginning Class 1 in schools.

Education minister Arvind Pandey Thursday announced Sanskrit will be a compulsory subject till Class 8 in all state board schools while students can opt for it as an optional subject thereon.

Incidentally, Sanskrit is already taught as a compulsory subject in government schools from Class 3 to 8. So in effect, the new announcement would be applicable only on Classes 1 and 2. Students at government school would now start learning the language soon as their formal education starts.

“It will be made a compulsory subject from Class 1-8 in government schools. And it will be an optional subject in grades 9-12. We are making necessary arrangements to include Sanskrit in school curriculum,” Pandey told the media. “The state is consulting with the NCERT so that the subject can be introduced and a syllabus be set.”

Hindi and Sanskrit are the two official languages in the BJP-ruled Uttarakhand. Incidentally, Sanskrit, Ganga and cow are fundamental themes for the BJP’s fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. In its poll manifesto this year, the saffron party had promised to encourage research and teaching of Sanskrit if voted to power.

Thee government plans to link it with employment opportunities, the minister said. “Sanskrit will be made compulsory for yoga instructors aspiring to join government service. This will begin after two years.”

The name plates of officers and offices in the Uttarakhand secretariat, the Vidhan Sabha and all departments will bear Sanskrit language like Hindi and English, he added.

“The answer to the question would mean blaming the other party which I do not wish to do. We should not delve into why it failed, but we should now work on how we can promote it,” Pandey said to a media query on the reasons for the failure of promoting the classical language.

In January 2010, the then chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ pressed on the need of promoting Sanskrit. Subsequently, Sanskrit was officially declared as the second official language of Uttarakhand. The erstwhile BJP government had made it necessary for officials to have their name plates in Sanskrit, but the order largely remained on the papers. But all efforts went to the back-burner after the Congress came into power after the assembly elections in 2012.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 20:30 IST