HC permits litigant to request Centre to conduct UPSC, SSC exams in regional languages

‘Many candidates find it difficult to clear exams conducted in non-regional languages’

The Madras High Court on Wednesday permitted a public interest litigant to make a fresh representation to the Union Home Ministry with a request to conduct all Union Public Service Commission as well as Staff Selection Commission examinations in all regional languages, enlisted in the eighth schedule to the Constitution, apart from conducting them in English and Hindi.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu directed the litigant R. Thiyagarajan of Tiruvallur district, to make his representation in four weeks and ordered that an officer in the rank of Under Secretary in the Home Ministry should dispose of the plea within eight weeks thereafter. The order was passed without going into the merits of the petitioner’s contentions.

The judges also recorded the submission of central government standing counsel V. Chandrasekhar that the request made by the petitioner was against Article 343 of the Constitution which states that Hindi in Devanagari script shall be the official language of the Union and that English would also be continued to be used for all official purposes for a specific period of time.

The counsel also stated that the request to conduct central service examinations in regional languages would be contrary to the Official Languages Act of 1963. In his affidavit, the litigant had claimed that candidates from southern, east and north eastern parts of the country find it very difficult to clear the UPSC and SSC examinations conducted in non-regional languages. He also claimed that many of his representations went unheeded.

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