In the years to come, don’t be surprised if a qualified engineer points at a train and calls it a ‘lauhpathgamini’. Simply tell yourself that the person is a graduate of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi University (ABVHU) in Bhopal.
The educational establishment will soon launch engineering courses in pure Hindi, with probably not a single word of English being uttered in class. This exercise would be the first of its kind in the country.
In this course, all technology-related terms would be referred to in Hindi – no matter how complex they may seem. For instance, automatic gain control would translate to swatah labdhi niyantran, unsymmetrical bending to asammit bankan, dielectric strength to paravidyut samarthya, reflex oscillation to prativarti dolan, and add multiplexer to yojak bahusanketak.
Even the course syllabi would be free of any sort of colonial hangover.
SHT got its hands on a copy of the first-semester syllabus of the course, and it was found to contain subjects such as bhautik vigyan (physics), ganit (maths), abhyantriki yantra-vidhya (engineering mechanics), abhiyantri aalekhiki (engineering drawing), bharat gyaan aur parampara (Indian culture) and Hindi.
A three-member panel prepared the syllabus in six months on the basis of the All India Council for Technical Education’s choice-based system, with help from the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology.
However, some believe the course makes use of words that could be difficult even for experts in Hindi to understand. “This is undoubtedly a good initiative, but translating technical words into Hindi may create problems for students. Hindi-medium students face problems only when the terms are explained in English. They don’t have any problem with the terminology itself,” Subhash Excellence School senior physics teacher Gulab Singh said, adding that it would only make things harder for students.
Others have raised doubts over the employability of those graduating in such a course. “English has become compulsory for people to land jobs in multinational companies. In such a scenario, how will students who have been taught engineering in chaste Hindi succeed in life? They will have to learn all the technical terms in English again,” said Yogendra Kumar, a professor of electrical engineering at the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology.
However, the university administration believes its students won’t face a problem as long as their technical credentials are sound. ABVHU vice-chancellor Mohanlal Chhipa said, “Knowledge is not based on any language. The engineers graduating from our university will be technically sound. We will ensure that instead of applying for jobs, they will provide jobs to others.”