From 1979, candidates appearing for examinations for all-India services can answer their question papers in all major Indian languages. The decisions are based on the recommendations of the Kothari Committee, which submitted a report on the subject two years ago. In 1967, Parliament had passed a resolution saying that all languages included in the English Schedule are to be permitted as alternative media to English for all-India and central services. But Indian languages have been allowed as medium for answering papers on general knowledge and essay only. The decision to allow the use of other Indian languages, the government feels, will meet the demand from the vast sections of people who think the existing system favours only those who can use English well, denying equality of opportunity to others.
The rupee has been devalued in terms of the pound sterling by nearly 2.14 per cent. The RBI announced a new middle rate of Rs 16.35 per pound as against Rs 16 hitherto. This is the second devaluation of a rupee in terms of pound sterling during the last 12 days.
The government of Bihar has taken over all 16 sugar factories in the private sector. Out of 29 sugar mills in the state which has been idle for years, three had been taken over by Centre and nine by the Bihar State Sugar Corporation. With this all the 28 sugar factories, which were in operation last year, have come within the ambit of the public sector.
India, Lanka Deal
India and Sri Lanka have agreed to increase trade between the two countries and to “stimulate Indian investment in joint ventures in Sri Lanka”, according to a joint statement at the end of the Sri Lanka President J R Jayewardene’s four-day visit to New Delhi.