New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central government to consider continuing German as third language in classes 6 to 8 in Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan schools for the current academic session.
Hearing the matter on the third language in KV schools, the apex court asked the Centre to start considering Sanskrit as third language from the next academic session.
While granting a week's time to the Centre to consider its advice, the SC noted, "Why punish students for your mistake."
"You test them in Sanskrit for the additional language and German remains a third language," said the apex court bench headed by Justice Anil R Dave.
The SC advice came even as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the SC that the memorandum of understanding signed between the previous UPA government and Germany on introducing German as third language in KV schools was illegal and that the present government was against continuing with it.
A day before, the Centre had told the court that Sanskrit will be the third language in classes 6 to 8 in Kendriya Vidyalayas from the present session.
The Centre's decision to drop German as an alternative to Sanskrit as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas had kicked up a row.
Following the government's decision, a group of parents of Kendriya Vidyalaya students had moved the SC on the issue.
Counsel for the petitioners had contended that the decision regarding selecting language should be left to the students and parents, and government should not impose its decision on them, especially in the middle of the ongoing academic session.
The board of governors (BoG) of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), headed by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, had in its meeting on October 27 decided that "teaching of German language as an option to Sanskrit will be discontinued herewith".
German has been kept as an additional subject for students.
The decision, if implemented, would impact over 70,000 students across 500 KVs from classes 6 to 8 who will be asked to switch from German to Sanskrit.