Nagpur: The final hearing on a petition demanding inclusion of Pali language in UPSC exams will be held on Friday (February 12) before the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. The verdict is likely to be passed on the same day. The Central Government has been directed file its reply on the petition.
During the last hearing, the High Court had directed the Government to decide whether it intends to include ‘Pali prakrut’ language in UPSC exam from the year 2016 or not before February 10. As directed, the Central Government filed its affidavit before the Division Bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Pradeep Deshmukh. The Government informed the court that a committee has been formed to consider the demand for inclusion of Pali language as optional language in Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams. A decision in this regard will be taken till the next year’s UPSC exams, informed the lawyer representing the Central Government. However, the petitioner contested the affidavit of the Government saying that preliminary exam of UPSC is slated in April 2016 and later in December 2016 the main exam is going to be conducted. An immediate decision is necessary before forms are filled up for the exams otherwise the candidates would be put to loss. This fact was brought to the notice of the High Court by Adv Shialesh Narnavre, representing the petitioner. Taking note of the argument, the High Court decided to hold final hearing on Friday and asked the Central Government to be ready with its reply on that day.
According to a UPSC notification issued on March 5, 2013, Pali language was excluded as optional language in UPSC exams.
Challenging the decision, renowned author Dr Bhalchandra Khandekar filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court. The PIL contended that ‘Pali Prakrut’ is an original Indian language. It is 2500-year old language. The philosophy ‘Tripitik’ told by Tathagat Buddha is in Pali language. Like Sanskrit, Pali is also an Indian language which was declared as national language even by Samrat Ashok. Today, 55 universities and more than 100 colleges across the country impart knowledge of Pali language. The number of students taking education and doing researches in Pali language is in lakhs. Because of this fact, the Central Government in 1981 approved Pali Prakrut as an optional language in UPSC exams. But the March 5, 2013 notification excluded the language from UPSC exams, said the PIL.
Adv Shailesh Narnavre represented the petitioner while Adv Mugdha Chandurkar represented the Central Government.