Education ministry, Ramesh Pokhriyal releases statement saying engineering courses in mother tongue will be an option in some colleges, beginning 2021-22 academic session.
NEW DELHI: Giving a thrust to education in the mother tongue, the government has decided to impart technical education, especially engineering courses, in regional languages from next academic year. A few IITs and NITs are being shortlisted for the same.
This was decided at a high-level review meeting chaired by Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday. The meeting also decided that the National Testing Agency (NTA) will come out with the syllabus for competitive examinations after assessing the existing scenario at the school education boards.
Statement by Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal on offering engineering courses in regional languages:
Following the meeting, Pokhriyal said on Twitter: “A seminal decision was also made during the meeting that engineering courses imparting education in mother tongue will be opened from next academic year. A few IITs and NITs are being shortlisted for the same.”
NTA’s decision to conduct JEE- Main in 9 regional languages:
The NTA in October had already decided to conduct the JEE-Main in nine regional languages, apart from Hindi and English from 2021. However, the IITs are yet to take up the matter so far on whether JEE-Advanced will also be offered in regional languages. According to a senior government source, the ministry of education will approach the IITs to offer JEE-Advanced in regional languages as well.
Major challenges in conducting engineering courses in regional language:
Faculty and study materials in regional languages are seen as a big challenge by many IITs and NITs with a number of heads of institutions expressing their concern on the matter.
Comment by an IIT Director on the challenge:
According to a director of an IIT, “It will be impossible, especially in the short term to implement this. After one has to offer all languages as medium of instruction in the IITs as we get students from all states and it won’t be fair to deny even a single student if he/ she wants to study in say Odia or Telugu.
Where will we find so many faculties to teach such a wide range of subjects?
In fact, we are now struggling to find faculty even in English! State engineering colleges can gradually implement the same offering the courses in the state language.”
Logistical issues have also been highlighted by the institutions as a bottleneck. “Apart from availability of faculty to teach in mother tongue, which will be the major issue, the classes will have to be divided language-wise. The availability of books in these languages will be another issue,” said a director of an old NIT.
Massive infrastructural inputs and teaching faculty needed to start technical education in regional languages:
In principle, providing technical education in regional languages is a great idea. It is more democratic and breaks the class hierarchy of languages. But this is a gargantuan project. It requires massive infrastructural inputs including new books and teachers learning to impart technical education in new languages. Since this project is scheduled to begin next year, one only hopes that the government has done enough background work and is prepared for the task. Otherwise, this could be a very tricky and messy endeavour.
IITs, NITs to offer engineering courses in mother tongue, IIT-BHU to begin with Hindi:
New Delhi: Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) will start offering engineering courses in mother tongue for the academic session 2021-22, the Ministry of Education said in a press statement on 26th November, 2020.
The decision, taken in a meeting chaired by Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, is in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) that calls for education in one’s mother tongue as far as possible.
Government short listing institutes:
Talking about the decision, a senior official said that to begin with, engineering courses in Hindi will start in IIT Banaras Hindu University (BHU). “For now we have zeroed down on IIT BHU to start engineering courses in mother tongue. More institutes — IITs and NITs, will be shortlisted for the purpose in the coming days,” the official said.
Sources in the ministry said it was felt that the effort should be started in IIT BHU initially as it has a strong base in Hindi. Names of other institutes will be decided after meeting with officials from IIT, NIT and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) in the coming days.
NEP calls for education in one’s mother tongue:
Since NEP 2020 was announced, Pokhriyal has been pushing for education in regional languages. In an interview in August, Pokhriyal said that education in one’s mother tongue should be imparted wherever possible. He has also advocated the same at public forums and seminars that took place after the NEP announcement.
The NEP 2020 advocates for education in one’s mother tongue right from primary class onwards.
Last month, the ministry had announced that the Joint Entrance Exam (Mains) will be conducted in more regional languages from 2021. The exam is currently conducted in Hindi, English and Gujarati. According to the announcement, plans are afoot to offer the exam in “regional languages where entry to state engineering colleges is decided based on an examination conducted in regional language”.
Updates on the Syllabus for competitive exams:
Many school education boards, including the national boards like CBSE and CISCE, have rationalised their exam syllabus due to the Covid-19 situation and subsequent academic loss due to schools being closed since March 2020.
The review meeting also decided that the NTA, which conducts the JEE-Main and NEET-UG among others, will come out with the syllabus for competitive examinations. “It has been decided that NTA will consult the school boards on what they have done (with the syllabus) to understand the situation. However, it is unlikely to impact the JEE-Main syllabus,” said a MoE official.
University Grants Commission(UGC) to start a helpline for student’s grievances:
Pokhriyal has also directed the University Grants Commission to ensure all scholarships and fellowships are disbursed in time. UGC has also been asked to start a helpline for the same and address all the grievances of students immediately.