UGC likely to introduce courses in regional languages across disciplines | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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UGC likely to introduce courses in regional languages across disciplines

Nov 21, 2022 12:42 AM IST

The higher education regulator, in collaboration with the Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti, a panel of experts under the Union ministry of education to promote Indian languages, will soon notify an apex committee to prepare the plan, officials said.

New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon come up with a roadmap to introduce undergraduate and postgraduate courses in regional languages in all disciplines, including commerce, humanities and science, across the country, people familiar with the development said on Monday.

The move is in continuation with the Union government’s several initiatives to introduce regional languages as a medium of education in both school and colleges in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. (HT Photo)
The move is in continuation with the Union government’s several initiatives to introduce regional languages as a medium of education in both school and colleges in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. (HT Photo)

The higher education regulator, in collaboration with the Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti, a panel of experts under the Union ministry of education to promote Indian languages, will soon notify an apex committee to prepare the plan, officials said.

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The move is in continuation with the Union government’s several initiatives to introduce regional languages as a medium of education in both school and colleges in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

The Centre has already introduced engineering and medical courses in regional languages in several states. In June, the Bar Council of India (BCI) also constituted a panel to come up with recommendations on how to introduce courses in regional languages in law colleges.

The proposed committee will first start dialogues with publishers of the standard, globally used textbooks for the translation work, said UGC chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar.

“It won’t be possible for the universities to start offering courses in regional languages without proper textbooks,” said Kumar. “So, the first task of the committee will be to start the process of identifying books of global authors that we have been using in our colleges and universities for decades, and hold discussions with the well-known international publishers and authors regarding our intention to translate them into several Indian languages.”

He further said: “The UGC has already conducted meetings with some of the popular international publishers and we have received a good response from them.”

The UGC head added that the proposed committee will also identify books written by Indian authors that can be translated into regional languages. “It will also conduct dialogues with Indian authors and encourage them to write in regional languages,” he said.

Chamu Krishna Shastry, chairperson of the Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti, said the proposed committee will work on providing quality textbooks in regional languages at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

“The proposed committee will frame the guidelines on how to ensure that books in all disciplines are available in Indian languages. The committee will also lay down guidelines on taking examinations in Indian languages,” he said. “However, it will be students’ choice to opt for it or not. The idea is to provide an opportunity to students to study in their mother tongue.”

The development comes amid a swirling political row between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition parties over the government’s language policy. A number of opposition parties, especially those from southern states, say the BJP is trying to push Hindi in its policies at the cost of regional tongues but the Union government has dismissed these concerns and said it wanted to help all Indian languages.

The UGC, meanwhile, will also constitute multiple sub-committees under the apex panel, Kumar said. “These sub-committees will be assigned languages and they will work closely with the universities interested in introducing courses in those languages,” the UGC chairperson added.

On October 16, HT had reported that the government was planning to establish 22 “bhasha kendras” (language centres) to prepare study material and courses in regional languages. Kumar said the apex committee will also collaborate with these centres.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Fareeha Iftikhar is a Special Correspondent with the national political bureau of the Hindustan Times. She tracks the education ministry, and covers the beat at the national level for the newspaper. She also writes on issues related to gender, human rights and different policy matters.

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