A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court challenging the AAP government’s education policy under which vocational subjects would replace languages like Sanskrit as the sixth compulsory subject at the secondary level.
The public interest litigation filed by a society claims that the decision, which would be applicable on government schools, would result in extinction of languages like Urdu, Sanskrit and Punjabi.
It also challenges a CBSE circular which has remodelled the scheme of assessment for Class 10 for schools enrolled under the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF).
In such schools, students have to compulsorily study a sixth subject, which would be a vocational subject, along with the five core subjects of two languages, social science, mathematics and science.
The CBSE offers two streams in Class 10 vocational and academic.
Those opting for the academic stream have to study the five subjects and have an option to choose an additional sixth subject. However, those opting for the vocational stream will have to compulsorily study the sixth subject under NSQF.
The NSQF, notified in India in 2013, is a competency- based framework that organises all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude.
According to the petitioner society, Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh Delhi, the AAP government’s decision to substitute languages with vocational subjects went against the National Policy on Education.
The petition, filed through advocates Harsh Ahuja and Kushal Kumar, has contended that the action of the Delhi government would cause irreparable damage to Sanskrit, Punjabi and Urdu languages and Indian culture.
It has claimed that the coming generations would not only not learn Sanskrit or other cultural languages, but they would “hardly have any knowledge of Sanskrit and the rich ancient Indian culture”.