Meghalaya Dy CM assures of making Khasi language official

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Roytre C Laloo today assured of getting Khasi language, spoken by at least 1.5 million people in the state, included in the Constitution's eighth schedule recognising it as one of the official languages in the country.

"I will do what I can to get Khasi (language) included in the Eighth Schedule (of the Constitution). I have spoken with the Chief Minister in this regards," Laloo, who also holds the charge of Education department, told the Assembly.

He said the government was taking up the matter with the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) to ensure the subject was also made available as one of the languages.
Laloo was replying to questions raised in the House on why Khasi was made elective (non-compulsory) in the higher secondary school exams in the state.

The language spoken by Khasi and Jaintia tribes had been recognised and notified as associate official language of the state after the Meghalaya State Language Act, 2005 received the Governor's assent on May 1, 2005.

In 2011, the government approved the Meghalaya Board of School Education regulations for higher secondary school exams changing the status of MIL to an elective subject in view of the dynamic changes in the field of education, Laloo said.

"This has broadened the scope for students to opt for subjects that matter to the career of their choices as per the National Curriculum Framework 2005," he said.

Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator Paul Lyngdoh said the move could be detrimental to the "only surviving Monkhmer languages" in India.

After the Board's notification last year, there was an increase of at least 1,000 more students opting to take Khasi as one of their subjects, the Deputy Chief Minister said.

Later, Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP) leader Ardent Basaiawmoit also raised a call attention motion on the withdrawal of Khasi as a compulsory subject by the state's school education board.

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