NEW DELHI: Close on the heels of Sanskrit being introduced as an elective subject in IITs, the Centre is now considering classroom lectures to students in their mother tongues. The objective is to integrate students, especially those from non-English backgrounds, into the IIT ecosystem. The other aim is to make them take pride in their cultural heritage and act as cultural ambassadors across the world.
This comes following a recent meeting between HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and RSS educational groups. During the meeting, a strong demand was made for introducing lectures in local and regional languages in premier institutes such as IITs, IIMs and Central universities in keeping with the right wing outfit’s emphasis on promoting regional languages in education. A suggestion was also made for holding separate classes for language students in IITs, to which the minister was “quite receptive”.
The meeting was attended by Vidya Bharati, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, Sanskrit Bharati, Shiksha Bachao Andolan, Vigyan Bharati and Itihas Sankalan Yojana, among others.
Every year, about 25-30 per cent of students from rural areas from institutes offering education in regional languages enroll in IITs. Many of them are from Hindi and other mediums who face problems and take a longer time to cope up with academic pressure. The latest being the example of IIT Roorkee, where students who were detained in the first year because of poor scores blamed the language issue for their performance.
As per the plan, IITs could devote a section for teaching in regional languages. This class could be in addition to regular teaching hours or could be held simultaneously. The other option is holding separate classes for students on a particular day so as not to burden the professors.
IIT Kharagpur has many students from south Indian states, mostly from Tamil Nadu and AP. Professors who speak the languages could have a separate class for students who find it difficult to follow English lectures. With Hindi being commonly understood by students in north and west India, the six IITs in these regions could offer their lectures in Hindi. Indications are that the issue could come up at the IIT Council meeting on August 23.