Imphal: Following an intervention by the Centre, the State Bank of India (SBI) has now allowed the people of Manipur to choose English as an optional language besides Manipuri while applying for recruitment from the year 2022-2023.

In a letter addressed to outer Manipur MP Lorho S Pfoze, MoS for Finance Bhagwan Karad stated that the matter has been taken up with the SBI and the bank has informed that from the recruitment year 2022-2023, options for both English and Manipuri will be available for recruitment of junior associates.

MP Lorho had written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sought the inclusion of English as a proficient language in the specified opted local language besides Manipuri in the bank’s recruitment process in the state.

“Manipur is inhabited by many ethnic groups with diverse cultural and linguistic practices. It has gone through turbulent times in the past over these issues. Therefore, making Manipuri a mandatory language for SBI recruitment is not justifiable,” the MP had said in his the letter.

The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has also raised the issue in front of SBI chairman Dinesen Kumar Khara. The tribal student union urged him to include the recognised Scheduled Tribes’ languages of Manipur in the recruitment of junior associates (customer support and sales) and other future recruitment of the SBI in the case of Manipur.

Inclusion of only Meitei/Manipuri language in the test of local language in the ongoing recruitment SBI process in Manipur systematically discriminates substantial number of potential candidates belonging to Scheduled Tribe communities, the student body stated.

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