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Fight for Article 371 amendment will continue, says Yeddyurappa

Karnataka Bureau

He will lead all-party team to press for special status to Hyderabad Karnataka

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

BUOYANT: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri inaugurating Kannada Rajyotsava at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.

BANGALORE: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, jubilant over the Union Government according classical language status to Kannada on the eve of the 53rd Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations, assured the people on Saturday that the Government would do its best for the promotion of the official and administrative language of the State.

Mr. Yeddyurappa, expressing his displeasure over the delay in the Centre according a special status to the Hyderabad-Karnataka region under Article 371 of the Constitution, said he would lead an-all party delegation to New Delhi to convince Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the need for granting the special status for the region.

Addressing the Rajyotsava programme at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here, Mr. Yeddyurappa said while the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh enjoyed a special status, Hyderabad Karnataka, which was also under the Nizam’s rule before Independence, was yet to be accorded the status. “The BJP Government will not give up the fight till the Centre accords special status to the region,” he said.

The Chief Minister thanked Dr. Singh and Union Minister for Culture Ambika Soni for granting the classical language status to Kannada along with Telugu and recalled the contribution made by various writers, poets, and thinkers to Kannada literature over centuries.

He announced a special Rs. 25-crore package for the development of Kannada including grants to all the nine universities to set up research and development studies in Kannada, a Rs, 1-crore assistance to universities in the country and abroad seeking to set up a Kannada chair, a Rs. 2-crore programme to develop Kannada software with the advice and support of experts, a Rs. 1 lakh prize to each successful candidate who wrote the IAS, IPS and IFS examinations in Kannada and Rs. 50,000 to each successful candidate passing the Central services examinations in Kannada, and the appointment of special Kannada teachers in all medical and engineering colleges to teach the language to non-Kannadiga students.

The State Government had taken up several steps for the development of Kannada, including mandatory use of Kannada in administration, display of Kannada name boards, priority for Kannadigas in jobs in the private sector and development of border areas.

A fine of Rs. 10,000 would be imposed on owners of shops and establishments who refused to display name boards in Kannada, he said.

He stressed the need for improving the quality of primary and secondary education. He said 5,000 primary and 3,000 high school teachers would be recruited before the commencement of the next academic year (2009-10).

The Chief Minister presented awards to students who won medals in various national games.

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, who presided over the programme, said Rs. 8,271 crore had been earmarked for the education in the State in 2008-09, an increase of Rs. 1,730 crore compared to 2007-08.

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