German removed as 3rd Language in Central Schools

New Delhi, Nov 14: In a significant move, the Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Friday removed German language from the option of third language in the Central schools, saying that the provision to include it as a third language was a violation of rules.

She said that the decision to drop German as an alternative to Sanskrit as third language in India has been taken in national interset, adding, German can be taught as a foreign language across the country.

With this major change, over 70,000 students across 500 Kendriya Vidyalayas from classes 6 to 8 will be asked to switch from German to Sanskrit.

The HRD minister has ordered a probe into how the Kendriya Vidyalaya had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which made German a "third language" as a subject in schools in 2011.

The MoU violates India's national education policy, she told media today. The pact was signed between the Kendriya Vidyalayas and Goethe Institute-Max Mueller Bhawan and was allegedly not referred to the ministry.

"The MoU was against our rules. Our formula of three languages will not be violated," Smriti Irani said.

"Contrary to rumours, we have not replaced Sanskrit with German. We have a three-language policy and in a country with 22 scheduled languages, 125 constitutionally recognised languages and 1600 dialects, we have decided on this policy after taking into account India's diversity", she said.

The HRD will provide the facility for schools to teach the foreign language, but it will not be a third language any more.

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