CHENNAI: All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has allowed colleges to offer engineering degree in eight regional Indian languages, including Tamil, from the new academic year (2020-21).
The other languages in which it would be available are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.
Engineering Colleges in Tamil Nadu can now choose to offer their accredited courses in Tamil, using the translated resources created by the AICTE, the chairman of the council Anil Sahasrabuddhe said on Thursday.
"The AICTE has translated the first year engineering course material into eight regional languages including Tamil," he said. A college that is approved by the AICTE can select a programme for which it has already received NAAC accreditation for and opt to offer that programme in Tamil.
Conceived as part of the National Education Policy (NEP), the council set up a committee to translate the materials. The initiative was seeded in a bid to provide quality technical education to students who did not receive sufficient English training at the school level. The initiative is aimed to benefit rural and tribal students.
A total of 14 colleges from across India, including two from Tamil Nadu had requested materials in regional languages, the chairman said. In the academic year 2021-22, Erode Sengunthar Engineering College and Rathinam Technical Campus, Coimbatore will be offering the first year programme in Tamil on a pilot basis.
"It is not compulsory for any college to offer courses in regional languages. However, if any college wishes to do so, they can use these resources," he said, adding that about three-quarters of engineering faculty in India, use regional languages while teaching. "Therefore no additional facilities will be required on part of the college," he said.
Even as the course will be available in Tamil, technical words used in course materials will continue to be in English so that students may not feel left out, Sahasrabuddhe said. However students who learn in Tamil will have to take a compulsory English course at the college level.
While the academic curriculum is not uniform across universities, there will be at least a 70-80 per cent overlap, Sahasrabuddhe pointed out, adding that work is underway to create regional language subtitles to MOOC courses on NPTEL and Swayam platforms.
Currently the first year engineering course material is available in 8 languages and it may be expanded to 22 languages in the next couple of years, he said. Further, second year and higher courses too will subsequently be made available.