Sanskrit varsity bill passed amid protest

Enables courses in Vedic studies and shastras

The Bill was passed by the Legislative Assembly even as the Congress members staged a walkout demanding withdrawal of the Bill. While the title of the Bill has been changed, the study of vedas, which forms an integral objective of the varsity, has been retained. In a protracted discussion on the Bill, the Congress members argued vociferously that there was no need of a separate university for Sanskrit.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said setting up the university will lead to disparity in society and it indicated the “hidden agenda” of the BJP to saffornise education.  His colleague T B Jayachandra suggested the Government to provide additional grants to the existing Sanskrit departments in various varsities instead of setting up the university.

Home Minister V S Acharya said Sanskrit held a vast knowledge bank that needs to be tapped. “The language had not got the attention it deserved. For several years, Sanskrit was clubbed with Urdu and other minority languages by the Education Department,” Acharya said. JD(S) Floor Leader H D Revanna said his party welcomed the Bill as long as the university was established in Melkote.

During the legislature session in July last year, the Bill pertaining to Sanskrit varsity had come up for consideration. The Opposition, however, did not allow the Bill to be passed on the ground that they need time to debate the Bill. The Government tried to establish the university through the ordinance route.

However, the ordinance was returned by the Governor with a note that the Bill be passed after discussion in the legislature. According to the provisions of the Bill, the university will be established in Bangalore and offer courses in Vedic studies, shastras, vedanta and ancient Indian sciences among others.

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