New Delhi: The government’s decision to drop German as an alternative to Sanskrit as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas has come under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court on Friday issuing a notice to it and seeking its explanation.

Agreeing to give an urgent hearing on the controversy, a bench headed by Justice A R Dave asked the government to file its response on a PIL and posted the case for hearing on November 28.

Advocate Reena Singh, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the decision regarding selecting a language should be left to the students and parents and the government should not impose its decision on them. She also contended that the government should not impose the decision in the middle of the ongoing academic session.

The Board of Governors of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, headed by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, had in its meeting on October 27 decided that “teaching of German language as an option to Sanskrit will be discontinued herewith”. German has been kept as an additional subject for students. The decision is expected to affect about over 70,000 students across 500 KVs from classes 6 to 8 who will be asked to switch from German to Sanskrit. Challenging the decision, the petitioners said that it has been taken without keeping in mind the adverse affect it will have on students.

Asserting that the government did not renew the MoU on German language as it would have been a violation of the Constitution, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Friday said a deliberate controversy was being created over the issue.

“German is a foreign language which is being taught as a foreign language and I feel that a controversy is being created deliberately because in a press briefing four days ago I had specified everything. The Centre cannot approve a MoU which violates the three-language formula which is already being implemented in 33 states,” Irani told reporters here.

The HRD Minister also raised doubts about the timing of the entire controversy.

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