Centre lays out plans to introduce Indian regional languages in law courses

The development is part of the implementation process of the National Education Policy 2020 that proposes introducing Indian regional languages as a medium of instruction
A lawyer outside the Supreme Court of India. (PTI Photo)
A lawyer outside the Supreme Court of India. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Mar 09, 2022 03:35 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: After introducing several courses in Indian languages, the government of India is now planning to expand the option to law colleges across the country, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) has already started discussions regarding the matter with some higher education institutions that are offering law courses, officials said.

The development is part of the implementation process of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that proposes introducing Indian regional languages as a medium of instruction. Last year, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) granted permission to 19 technical colleges to offer select engineering courses in regional languages. Of these, 10 chose Hindi and the rest provided the option of Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

UGC chairperson Jagadesh Kumar said that the commission intends to start full-fledged degree programmes in regional languages starting with law courses. “Law is one area where our students will benefit if they study in regional languages. Lawyers can prepare documents in regional languages and also interact with their clients in their mother tongues. In local courts also, arguments take place only in the local languages.”

“Therefore, we are parallelly discussing this with the vice-chancellors of national universities and other educational institutions. And many of them have shown a very positive attitude towards introducing courses in Indian languages for law courses,” Kumar said.

Besides this, the government is also considering introducing undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for science and humanities in Indian languages. “Efforts are also being made to start more and more courses in Indian languages. But, at the same time, students will be equally trained to use English as a communication tool to enable them to interact with the larger world. The idea is that students should not feel intimidated by the new subjects that they learn because of the language barrier. They will feel much more comfortable if they are taught in their mother language,” the UGC chairperson said.

Kumar said that the UGC will also constitute a group of experts from across the country to translate the standard books into regional languages. “After identifying the texts required in our degree programmes that need to be translated in Indian languages, we will hold a dialogue with national and international publishers. We will discuss with them how these books can be translated into Indian languages and printed locally in India,” he said.

“This will help both students who study in Indian languages, and also those studying in English but need translated books for better understanding. So, lots of students will be buying these books. This will create a win-win situation for both students as well as publishers,” Kumar added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Fareeha Iftikhar is a principal 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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