Engineering In Regional Language! A Blessing In Disguise

In India, engineering has always been a dream education not just for the students but for their parents as well. There are several reasons behind it such as the degree attracting high paying jobs, onsite opportunities and status that brings in, pleasant and fun-filled college days one gets to spend as an engineering student and not to forget the evergreen title “Engineer” that they earn after four years.

In fact, the country itself is proud of being the producer of large pools of engineers across the globe. Establishing its first engineering training centre in 1847, India has progressed to own 10,500 engineering institutes inclusive of IITs(16), NITs(31), IIITs (23) amongst others. Presently, India produces more than 1.5 million engineers every year and the number increases with each passing year. A recent survey across India has revealed that around 880 thousand students have enrolled on the Computer Science discipline for the academic year 2019. Following which around 782 thousand has enrolled for mechanical discipline. Engineering being a buzzing educational course in India, yet several students are not able to attain their engineering dream due to low marks, high fee structure, language barrier and more.

India being a multi-linguistic land settling down with a common language is a tough task

Breaking the Barrier
India being a multi-linguistic land settling down with a common language is a tough task. Yet, we have sustained for a long period with English as a common medium but this foreign language could not enter several doors that are deeply rooted in the rural areas. Resultant, the highly talented kids are suppressed and even feel inferior to progress in their academics except for a few strong-willed who are determined to break this language barrier. Presently, India is undergoing a massive transition in trade, business and more with its focus set on Athmanirbhar, thus, the country’s attention has also turned towards identifying its regional languages. Consequently, in line with the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 that urged to divulge education in one’s mother tongue, the engineering colleges approved by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) are set to teach in regional languages. Subsequently, around 14 engineering colleges from eight states are initiating to impart coaching in eight different languages namely Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. This move is a part of PM Narendra Modi’s initiative to facilitate education in one’s mother tongue.

Making a switch to regional language also calls for proficient faculties who hold a strong expertise in the specified regional language as well as subject knowledge and not to miss the study material to be translated into the regional languages.

Speaking on the transition, Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE states that colleges willing to offer engineering in regional languages could apply with the council and if they meet requirements, they would be granted approval to start the courses. However, nothing is being made compulsory and that the choice lies with the colleges and the students. The council has, for now, has begun work on translating content in eight regional languages that include Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. However, the universities are hesitant to approve the regional language as lack of study materials and faculty members are their major concerns. According to sources, Anna University is tentative to approve as it doesn’t have sufficient study material in Tamil to offer to these colleges. Besides, they are also doubtful that a number of seats would fill as there might be only a few students to enrol for the courses, and placement issues may also arise.

Anil Dattatraya further states, “The translation work has been carried out by our faculty from AICTE approved institutes having expertise in the subject as well as in the languages. In order to maintain the quality of translation, translated transcripts are evaluated or corrected by more senior faculty who possess deep knowledge of the subject and language. We have also ensured to retain the technical terms and scientific words in English only since many regional languages do not have substitutes for them. Besides, the colleges continue to teach English as a language subject.”