Published On : Fri, Feb 5th, 2016

HC puts Central Govt on notice over exclusion of Pali language in UPSC exams

Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Central Government seeking response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the notification of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) excluding Pali as a language for writing its exams. In fact, the High Court put Government on notice by asking it to decide whether it intends to include ‘Pali prakrut’ language in UPSC exam from the year 2016 or not before February 10 or else the High Court will pass an appropriate order in this regard, warned the Bench. The Union Public Service Commission is soon conducting exams for recruitment of administrative officers across the country.

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.

After the initial hearing, the High Court had issued a notice to the Union Government. Later, the matter came up before the Division Bench of Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Pradeep Deshmukh who asked the Government to take a decision in the matter before February 10 or else the Court will pass an appropriate order on its own, warned the Justices.

Adv Shailesh Narnavre represented the petitioner while Adv Mugdha Chandurkar represented the Central Government.