"Twenty five percent of the students who were exclusively studying in English will now be introduced to Konkani or Marathi in their curriculum in the wake of this policy," said Parrikar, while defending the policy which has come under fire from regional languages' supporters.

A group named 'Get Well Soon', which had launched a campaign against the then Congress-led government over MOI policy, had termed Parrikar government's policy as a carbon copy of his predecessors.

The group objected to the grants given for schools which have English as the medium of instruction.

Parrikar on Tuesday said there are 22,000 primary students who are learning in English and will be introduced to local languages.

The government has asked the schools teaching in English to have bilingual books, he said.

Konkani or Marathi has been made compulsory language till tenth standard, the Chief Minister said.

The worries that Hindi will disappear from the curriculum are unfounded because students have an option to learn it, he mentioned.

The knowledge of Konkani has been made compulsory in government jobs and the rule has to be exempted only in case of super specialty jobs when a candidate with Konkani knowledge doesn't apply, he added.

(Agencies)

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