The human resource development (HRD) ministry in December last year mooted a proposal to make Sanskrit a compulsory subject up to Class X. In January, it asked 28 central universities that do not offer Sanskrit to explore opening a Sanskrit department, documents in the possession of The Telegraph suggest.
On December 9, the ministry had issued a letter to the National Council of Educational Research and Training and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to see how Sanskrit could be introduced as a mandatory subject in all secondary schools.
The letter issued by Pramod Kumar Saha, a deputy secretary, said a national conference on the "importance of Sanskrit in modern age" in Lucknow in September 2013 had resolved that all schools should introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject.
The school boards are yet to make Sanskrit compulsory. A CBSE official said state governments have to take a decision on the matter.
The same conference also proposed that there should be a Sanskrit department in all central universities.
At present, there are 14 Sanskrit universities in the country while 12 central universities have Sanskrit departments.
However, the issue of Sanskrit promotion has become controversial after the ministry under the NDA government asked the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to drop German as a third language subject. Since 2011, when the UPA was in power, the Kendriya Vidyalayas have offered German as a third language option along with Sanskrit for children of Classes VI to VIII.
Some parents have challenged in the Supreme Court the decision to drop German. However, sources said the government is unlikely to change its stand. The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to consider bringing in the change from the next academic year.
About 60,000 students who have opted for German as their third language have been allowed to shift to any Indian language immediately.