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Engineering education in Indian languages – good, bad and challenges involved

A total of 39 colleges from 11 states have started to offer engineering courses in seven regional languages, as per AICTE initiative.

Engineering education in Indian language is a win-win situation for both students and faculty members.

Not every student in India can speak, write or even understand English, due to which many are not able to pursue their preferred domain. To remove language barrier in technical education, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has initiated technical education in Indian languages in the year 2021-22, Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman, AICTE told FE Education Online.  “Last year 19 colleges had come forward for this initiative and in total 39 colleges have started engineering courses in Indian languages from 11 states in seven languages,” the chairman added. He further explained that technical terms in the curriculum remain the same in all languages to encourage mobility in terms of region, employability and entrepreneurship.

Higher education demands a student-centric approach rather than rote learning. Therefore, learning in native languages help students to understand the fundamentals better and discuss the same with teachers, Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor (VC), Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), said, adding that learning capability in mother tongue improves students’ confidence and helps in their overall growth. “With technical curriculums in English, students spend most of their time to understand English first and then study about the subject,” Rao added. He explained that engineering in respective languages can help in overall academic growth of the students. 

According to industry stakeholders, engineering education in Indian language is a win-win situation for both students and faculty members. This step has potential to bridge the gap of skilled workforce required for the new-age domains in Industrial revolution 4.0, Sushmita Mishra, dean academic, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela shared. Although NIT presently does not offer courses in regional languages, the institute supports the move and stated that it would encourage its interested faculties to contribute in possible mechanisms towards this objective.

Furthermore, as per universities technical education in Indian languages will bring equality in education. However, the challenge remains how higher institutions will be able to implement and adapt the transition from English to other languages. According to Dheeraj Sanghi, VC, JK Lakshmipat University (JKLU), Jaipur, this move does open up avenues for people who have studied in regional languages in school. “However, the problem is the transition as the same faculty won’t be able to teach in English and other languages and it will be an added investment for the institutions to recruit teachers for respective languages,” Sanghi added.


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