New Delhi: Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani Friday said that German was a foreign language and was being taught as one, and added that the government deliberately could not have signed an MoU that violates the three-language formula.
"This MoU was presenting German as a third language in all schools which in itself is a violation of the Indian Constitution as it is not the third language of the country," she said on the sidelines of an event here.
"So, neither me, nor the ministry or the Kendriya Vidyala Sangathan could have signed the MoU when it came for renewal," Irani said, adding that while the renewal came in September, a controversy has been raked up in November.
The minister highlighted that Schedule 8 of the Constitution, which has 22 scheduled languages, does not include German.
She, however, said that German, which is a foreign language, was being taught as so.
"As far as the students are concerned, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan has made counselling available for all students from Class VI to VIII. Additionally, whichever Indian language the students wish to opt for, it will be made available to them," she said.
The minister earlier announced that the Kendriya Vidyalayas have decided to discontinue teaching German as an alternative to Sanskrit as a third language, a decision she said was taken in view of "national interest".
She had also asked the Kendriya Vidyalaya board, which she heads, not to renew its 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German government`s Goethe Institut, which provided the Kendriya Vidyalayas with 700 German teachers.
Irani said the MoU was in violation of India`s national education policy and the national education framework.
The issue was also raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Nov 16 during the G20 summit in Australia.