Kannada Bill To Provide Kannadigas More Opportunities In Education, Jobs

Bengaluru, advocates broad measures for comprehensive development and promotion of Kannada on different levels, Karnataka’s government on Thursday introduced a bill in the Assembly that would make Kannadiga’s reservations in higher education and professional courses, and would tie any concessions or subsidies to industries with jobs for locals. The bill defines Kannadiga as a person or his parents or in their absence a legal guardian who is/are a common resident of Karnataka for not less than 15 years and has knowledge of reading and writing Kannada; and proposes penalties for violations of rules.
The bill was introduced by Kannada and Minister of Culture V Sunil Kumar in the Assembly.
The bill noted that Kannada has been adopted as the official language of Karnataka and that the state has passed the Karnataka Official Language Act, Karnataka Local Authorities (Official Language) Act, Kannada Development Authorities Act and the Kannada Language Learning Act, and the state has also a statutory body called Kannada Development Authority (KDA).
“Despite the above-mentioned ordinances, notices and orders, not much progress has been made in the proper implementation of the official language in the state. Kannada language has been introduced as one of the language subjects in schools, but there are no proper facilities for it learning the Kannada language in higher or technical or vocational education’, the bill states.
Due to a lack of coordination between different departments, there is a breakdown in the implementation and use of Kannada language in offices, industries, shops and branches, etc.
The above acts do not provide a comprehensive mechanism to implement Kannada as an official language. Even the Kannada Development Authority although a legal body does not have the proper authority and machines to ensure the implementation of Kannada as an official language at all levels.
There will be an approximate recurring expenditure of about Rs 3.21 crore through the proposed legislative measure.
Kannada will be taught in higher, technical and professional education courses, the bill said.
Students who studied in Kannada Medium from grades 1 to 10 in Karnataka or in Kannada Medium Schools in other states will be given a percentage of the reservation in higher, technical and professional education which may be communicated by the state government.
It also stated that no private industry, establishment or institution is eligible for concession of land or any other concession of tax refund or tax deferral or any form of subsidy unless they provide not less than a percentage of reservation to Kannadigas as according to the State-declared industrial policy.
The bill further obliges to pass the Kannada exam to get a government job, but those who passed Class 10 with Kannada as a first or second language are exempt. It also requires the government to establish an employment portal for government agencies, public corporations, and private companies to report job openings.
Under the bill, the district courts or tribunals, as the case may be, and tribunals will conduct proceedings and pronounce the orders and sentences in Kannada.
Although Kannada is mandated on program brochures, banners issued by the government and its funded organizations, the bill said it must also be the primary language in all nameplates.
It also said that Kannada education units should be set up to teach Kannada to non-Kannada speakers in industrial institutions, state or central government institutions with more than 100 employees.
The bill makes it clear that any failure or omission by an officer to implement the official language will be considered a dereliction of duty and will be subject to disciplinary action.
If a retailer or commercial establishment is involved in an offense such as showing contempt for giving priority to Kannada in nameplates, he will be subject to a fine of up to Rs 5,000 for the first offense and up to Rs 10,000 for the second offense .
Later, the violator is liable for a fine of up to Rs 20,000, upon the issuance of a notice, in addition, there is also provision for license revocation.
According to the bill, Kannada will be the official language of the state and local authorities, in all laws and acts of the state legislature, orders, rules, regulations or ordinances issued by the government and its related bodies.
Kannada language is used for all official and administrative purposes and correspondence in the state. All existing English language legislation enacted by the State prior to the entry into force of this Act shall be translated and published in Kannada.
The bill proposes an enforcement mechanism to implement official language and proposes for state, district and taluk-level committees.
The State Commission has the Minister of Kannada and Culture as the chairman and the chief secretary as the vice chairman. The Kannada and Culture Directorate is also the Official Language Enforcement Directorate.

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