Following the guidelines of the National Education Policy (NEP), engineering degree courses will now be made available in five regional languages with the All India Council for Technology Education (AICTE) preparing content for six more languages.
For the new academic year, engineering courses will be offered in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali, says a report by News18.com. However some media outlets have claimed that technical courses will engineering will be available in Kannada and Malyalam as well.
The NEP suggests that no student cannot be denied the right to pursue higher education because he/she does not know a particular language (in this case English). The move towards use of regional languages in higher education got a boost last year when JEE Main — the engineering entrance exam — was held in English, Hindi and Urdu. From this year onwards, the JEE (Main) can be conducted in 13 languages, including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabuddhe told The New Indian Express, “The AICTE has translated the first year engineering course material into eight regional languages including Tamil. An AICTE approved college can opt for a degree programme which has received NAAC accreditation for offering that programme in Tamil.”
The AICTE’s decision to launch courses in regional languages is also motivated by a survey the technical body conducted, in which little more than 40% students (of the 83,000 students questioned) said they want to pursue engineering in regional languages. Tamil, Hindi and Telugu (12,487, 7,818, and 3,991 students respectively) were the most preferred languages.
The AICTE then recommended that engineering courses should be offered in regional languages in NITs/ IITs and AICTE approved institutions. However, English stays as one of the key and mandatory subjects because skills in English language can fetch jobs for engineering graduates anywhere in the world.
So far, 14 colleges in nine states have expressed their willingness to offer engineering courses in regional languages. The IITs, however, have resisted any such move citing lack of quality faculty to teach in different languages.
On its part, the AICTE has expressed its readiness to train engineering faculty in other languages. Besides, it has allowed colleges to continue using scientific and technical terms in English to maintain uniformity. So far, colleges are under no compulsion to offer courses in other languages.