The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to issue No Objection Certificate to open Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs), saying the state government should "give up its fear" that Hindi would be thrust upon students though these central schools. After hearing the state government and the petitioner, Justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan of the Madurai Bench of the Madras HC ordered the issuance of NOC within eight weeks for starting JNVs. The state government counsel submitted that it had enough schools to provide education to poor students and there was no need for JNVs funded by the Centre. Petitioner Jeyakumar Thomas submitted that JNVs are fully residential and imparted education from classes 6 to 12. He said the objective behind opening JNVs was to identify talented children from rural areas regardless of their socio- economic backgrounds and provide them quality education. The schools collect nominal fees and 75 per cent of the seats are reserved for rural children, the petitioner said. They follow three language formula-- English, Hindi and the local language, the PIL said. The government counsel contended that JNVs were against the state's two-language policy. Except in Tamil Nadu, Navodaya Vidyalayas have been started in all states, he submitted.
Hence, the court should ask the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government to establish one school in each district of the state, he said. The Judges said the government should provide sufficient infrastructure, including land, for Navodaya schools and cooperate with the Centre in starting them. Referring to the TN government contention that Hindi would be 'thrust' upon students, which was against its two- language formula, the Central government counsel said state's language was being taught in JNVs from class 6 to 8. Students could choose Tamil as an optional subject in class 11 and 12 and there would be no thrusting of Hindi upon them, he added. The judges said the state government should give up its fear of Hindi language being thrust upon students and cooperate with the Centre in building these schools.
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