Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah on Monday wrote to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, requesting him that the banking examinations, due later in September, be conducted in all 22 officially recognized languages of the Indian Constitution.
Siddaramaiah’s request comes at a time when he has been backing pro-Kannada groups to thwart any attempts to impose Hindi by the Centre. Siddaramaiah has raked up the issue of “Kannada pride" with demands for a state flag as well, looking to isolate the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of next year’s elections.
“All the 22 languages included in the Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India are national languages and they demand equal importance with no language having preference over other," Siddaramaiah said in his letter.
He said that candidates from other states, who join the banking sector in Karnataka to serve in rural banks, are expected to interact in the local language, Kannada.
He said that those who have studied the local language until standard VIII would be considered proficient in the local language, failing which the person will be given six months to learn the language.
He said that it was very important to ensure that candidates have the option of appearing for the exam in all 22 languages. “The present system of Hindi/English mode of examination is blatant violation of the constitutional principles," Siddaramaiah said.