Irrespective of the medium of instruction used by their teachers in their respective colleges, engineering students in Madhya Pradesh will now be able to write their answers in Hindi. Justifying the decision, the BJP government argued that Hindi medium students, especially those from rural areas, find it difficult to express themselves in English and a few even end up leaving the engineering course midway.
“What difference does it make if a student writes ‘mere pas pen hai’ in place of ‘I have a pen’, they mean one and the same thing,’’ argued School Education Minister Deepak Joshi, who also has independent charge of technical education.
The student will have to choose between Hindi and English at the beginning of the course and stick to it till the end. “The student will have the liberty to write technical terms in English. Parents spend lakhs on their wards, but they can’t clear the course or drop out because they are not comfortable with English,’’ the minister said.
Students of 200 engineering colleges affiliated to Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyala (RGPV), the state’s technical university, will benefit from the decision from the current academic year. RGPV vice-chancellor Piyush Trivedi said the decision was taken unanimously. The university issued circulars to this effect to all the colleges on the eve of Hindi Day. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also praised the effort.
“Maybe, the minister is still going by the experience from his youth when there were very few English medium colleges in the state. The scenario has changed. Nearly 90 per cent of students who have enrolled with us are from English medium schools. The Hindi medium students may benefit in the short term but in the long run it’s detrimental to them,’’ commented Prof Adarsh Sachdeva, who teachers in a private engineering college.
The minister, meanwhile, refuted the suggestion that the move was prompted by shortage of students in private engineering colleges where thousands of seats remain vacant every year.
“It’s a Hindi state. Students may want to write in English, but they can’t, and don’t even attempt to write. They give up and get frustrated,’’ the minister said and argued that students will simultaneously learn English.