Realising that locals are finding it difficult to communicate with bank employees, the Government of Karnataka may soon make it a requirement for all bank employees to acquire proficiency in Kannada. The move will facilitate smooth communication between bank employees and the locals.
For some time now there have been requests and efforts to make the use of the local language mandatory. Finally, the state government may actually issue an official notification in this regard.
The state government also passed a bill in 2022, the Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill, which was designed to encourage the use of Kannada across government offices. However, the bill never came into effect.
The Kannada Language Comprehensive Development Bill, 2022, which was approved by the Karnataka Assembly (KA) required individuals applying for jobs in the Karnataka government or positions in various local authorities, boards, corporations, both statutory and non-statutory organisations, as well as registered cooperative societies and other societies within the state, to pass a mandatory ‘Kannada language examination’.
It also required banks with over 100 employees to create a ‘Kannada Cell’. The cell is to be overseen by senior employees proficient in the language, to facilitate the incorporation of Kannada into daily work operations.
In August 2017, the Kannada Development Authority (KDA) had issued a directive, stipulating that non-Kannadiga employees working in government and rural banks must acquire proficiency in Kannada within six months or face termination.