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The Karnataka High Court on April 6 stayed two government orders that made Kannada a compulsory language in degree courses as a part of implementing National Education Policy, reported Live Law.

The order was issued to clarify that the Centre’s National Education Policy did not make it compulsory to learn local languages while seeking higher education.

The government had issued orders on August 7 and September 15 making Kannada a compulsory language in degree colleges, even for those students who have not studied it at the pre-university level, The Indian Express reported. The orders had led to confusion at the time of admissions to degree colleges in Karnataka in 2021.

The court was hearing two petitions filed by students and the Karnataka Trust challenging the state’s decision on mandating the regional language in degree courses.

The petition claimed that the state’s move was “arbitrary” and restricted “freedom of speech and expression” enshrined under the Constitution.

The court on April 6 said that at this stage, the state government must not insist on making the language compulsory.

“Those students who have taken the Kannada language on the basis of their choice may do so, all such students who do not wish to take the Kannada language shall not be compelled to pursue” the language, till further orders, said the…

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Abdul Gh Lone