Maharashtra Assembly Passes Bill To Make Marathi Compulsory In All Schools

Maharashtra

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that makes Marathi a mandatory subject across all schools in the state.

Mumbai| The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that makes Marathi learning and teaching compulsory in schools in the state with a provision for a penalty in case of non-compliance.

The bill was first passed unanimously in Maharashtra Legislative Council on Wednesday.

A bill is generally introduced and approved in the Assembly first and then it goes to the Council. However, in this case, the Council chairman allowed the minister concerned to introduce the bill in the Upper House first.

The development comes on 'Marathi Bhasha Din’ (Marathi language day) which is celebrated on February 27, the birth anniversary of poet and Jnanpith award winner late V V Shirwadkar.

Minister for Marathi Language Subhash Desai introduced the bill in the Lower House on Thursday.

Desai said the legislation was on the lines of laws in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, and it makes teaching and studying Marathi compulsory in all schools (irrespective of the board to which they are affiliated).

Marathi will become a compulsory subject in all schools from standard 1st to 10th in a phased manner from the academic year 2020-2021, he said.

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It will be introduced in the first and sixth standards from the coming academic year and extended to further classes in subsequent years.

The subject will be, thus, taught from 1st to 10th standards from 2024, and the schools will follow a curriculum prescribed by the government.

The government will have the power to exempt a student or a class of students from all or any of the provisions of the Act, Desai said.

According to the legislation, schools found in non-compliance with the provisions of the bill would attract a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh.

The bill covers all schools irrespective of boards they are affiliated to.

Speaking in the house, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed happiness over the passage of the bill in the Council.

“I will also pursue with the Centre the matter of granting classical language status to Marathi. I am happy that we are clearing the bill,” he said.


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