The Karnataka government is planning to introduce the Kannada Language Skill Test (Kannada Bhasha Kaushalya Parikshe) for those aspiring for jobs and admission in educational institutions in the state. The language will provide job opportunities for Kannadigas.
The concept of the National Eligibility Test (NET) is being followed to prepare the language test. The KLST will help to screen candidates for group c and d posts.
“We have mooted the idea of Kannada Language Skill Test to ensure opportunity for those who know the local language. The objective is not just to protect the interests of the locals but also to ensure better interactions between locals and those who are on the jobs. We have requested CM Yedurappa to include this announcement in his Rajotsava address.” Chairman of Kannada Development Authority TS Nagabharana said.
Minister CT Ravi said that the cabinet will discuss the matter before taking any decision.
The state celebrated 65th formation day. The credentials used in the test will help candidates to apply for jobs and college seats. It will also be used for group A and B posts. Group C and D include mechanic, clerk, accountant, supervisor, peon, and others while groups A and B refer to the posts in the management.
“We are looking at the language skill test as an effective tool to localize the job market. The cabinet will discuss it before coming up with legislation,” said Kannada and culture minister CT Ravi.
“At present, in some sectors, including banking, employees are allowed to learn Kannada within six months after joining. Students of professional courses are being taught Kannada after getting admission. But the language skill test will help us screen candidates at the entry-level itself,” said Nagabharana.
According to the sources, people think that the language test is an alternative method to escape legal challenges in ensuring more jobs for Kannadigas. The successive governments have struggled to fulfill what has been recommended by the Sarojini Mahishi report for Kannadigas. The report was accepted in 1986.
“As such, asking companies to reserve jobs for locals or anybody goes against the spirit of the Constitution, although state governments are empowered to bring in policies with the objective of protecting the interests of the locals. The idea of using the Kannada Language Skill Test as an eligibility criterion seems to be a good one given the limitation to implementation of the direct reservation policy,” said M Sridharacharyulu, dean, School of Law, Bennett University.
“The policy has been implemented informally. Recently, I took stock of the situation as I spoke to representatives of industries. About 70% of employees in the lower rung in these companies are local,” said Hebbar. He said the proposal under examination is to ensure 100% of Group B and C jobs, and at least 50% of posts from Group A and C categories for Kannadigas.