HRD Ministry decides to replace German as third language in KV’s with Sanskrit

Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to replace German as a third language in schools of Kendriya Vidyalaya (KVs) with Sanskrit right away instead of waiting for the new academic session to effect the changes. The decision to discontinue German was taken on 27th October 2014, after the meeting of Board of Governors of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) headed by Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
HRD ministry has preferred gradual phasing out of German as the third language by 2017-18.
HRD Ministry has mentioned that not teaching Sanskrit as third language in KV schools is the violation of the Constitution and National Policy on Education.
They even have launched an investigation on the MoU signed between KV’s and Goethe Institute in 2011.

Why this decision was taken?

  • As per HRD ministry, the MoU between KV’s and the Goethe-Institut of Max Mueller Bhawan, which was signed in 2011, was against the national education policy and the National Curriculum Framework which allows only an Indian language to be taught as a third language in schools.
  • Earlier in 2014, Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh (SSS) had opposed this decision of teaching German in KV’s. SSS had moved to Delhi High Court alleging that KV’s had introduced German as a third language in place of Sanskrit against the education policy.

Impact of this decision on

  • Student of KV’s: This decision is expected to affect over 70000 students across 500 KVs from classes 6 to 8, who have to switch from German to Sanskrit. However, students will be given an option to pick any Indian language of their choice as annual exams are barely three months away.
  • Higher Studies: From 2008, the number of Indian students going to Germany for higher studies has risen by 114 per cent. Germany is one of the top destinations for Indian students, particularly those studying engineering, science and technology, for affordable higher education and possible employment. It will have negative impact on those who are eager to pursue Higher Studies in Germany.

German as a third language

In 2011, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between KV’s and Goethe Institute-Max Mueller Bhawan for teaching German as third language in KV’s across country. Thereafter, German was taught as a third language from classes 6 to 8 in KV’s. However, this MoU was not referred to HRD Ministry at any stage. The decision to teach German at the KV’s was taken by then UPA government in view of the fact that children from Indian schools need to know foreign languages in a globalised world,  in order integrated into the global economy.



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