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"Conduct Bank Exams in Kannada too" says Karnataka's Deputy CM

G Parameshwara also suggests that bank officials be given time to gain proficiency and be assessed later.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara has once again put forth the issue of conducting banking exams by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) in Kannada as well and has written a letter to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on the issue.

The former KPCC president also pointed out instances of customers being denied banking services in their mother tongue, as challans, application forms, procedural documents and ATM kiosks are available only in English and Hindi.

He also emphasised that this was not the first time that this demand was made. Previously, there has been communication from former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the Kannada Development Authority chairman SG Siddaramaiah, among others. He urged the Finance Minister to take up the issue immediately, as it goes “against the very spirit of federalism and the interests of not just the people of Karnataka, but those from other states as well”. He also said, “I sincerely hope this letter will not be met with the same fate that the previous letters have met.” He further stated that this is a “systematic discrimination”, which is creating social tension in the state’s banks.

As a solution, G Parameshwara suggested that the bank officials in the state, who are not proficient in Kannada, must be directed to gain proficiency within a timeframe and later assessed as well. Their retention must be subject to passing this assessment. This, he said, will also make it easier for the people of Karnataka to contribute more proactively to the success of various schemes launched by the Centre, to achieve total financial inclusion in the country.

This letter comes on the back of Parameswara’s tweet in the previous week, wherein he said a man was allegedly attacked by a bank staff in Kolar for asking to carry out a transaction in Kannada. In April 2017, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) had asked then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to stop the exams until they are held in Kannada, as they argue the current system goes against Kannadigas, with non-Kannadigas gaining the upper hand. The KDA had previously petitioned the Prime Minister to conduct exams in Kannada for recruitment in excise and railways as well.