NEW DELHI: Wish to work at the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) as an officer or non-teaching staff? If so, “basic knowledge” of Hindi is a must, according to a recent advertisement for jobs at the IISER, Kolkata. The advertisement was as per a “policy decision taken by the government that staff at these institutes should know the national language”, claimed a senior official of the Union Human Resources Development ministry, which runs the IISERs.
Soon, other centres too would adopt the policy, the official added. The Centrally-funded premier institutes of research in basic sciences are located at Thiruvananthapuram, Tirupati, Pune, Bhopal, Kolkata, Berhampur and Mohali.
The Hindi requirement has sparked voices of protests from several non-Hindi states and linguistic groups. “To make the knowledge of Hindi mandatory for Hindi teachers is understandable. But what reason could be behind this bizarre move if not an imposition? Also, if the medium of instruction in these institutes is English, how does it matter if teachers and other staffers do not know Hindi?” asked Garga Chatterjee, a senior member of Bangla Pokkho, a Bengali language and people’s rights organisation”.
The move is against the spirit of linguistic equality as enshrined in Indianconstitution, and will be protested, said Senthil Nathan, of the Chennai-based Centre for Language Equality and Rights.
Job advertisement explains criteria
- The requirement came to light through an ad for 20 posts of deputy registrar, executive engineers, asst registrar and other posts at IISER, Kolkata published last month
- “To apply for any post of Officers/Non-teaching Staff, the candidate also should have basic knowledge of Hindi,” it said
- Last date to apply is June 25
- “The government believes one language should bind the nation, and expecting staffers in institutes run by the Union government is a step in that direction,” said a HRD ministry official