Engineering colleges prepare for courses in regional languages


The engineering colleges, approved by All India Council for Technical Education to teach in regional languages, have started recruiting new faculty, identifying those who already are fluent in regional languages, and translating the existing curriculum, ahead of the upcoming session of the first batch of BTech students to be taught engineering and technical courses in regional languages from October.

In line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 that calls for imparting education in mother tongue, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), for the first time in July, granted permission to 14 colleges across the country to offer select engineering courses in 11 regional languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Assamese, Punjabi and Oriya. However, this year, eight of these 14 colleges will offer BTech courses in Hindi. Others will provide the option of pursuing technical education in Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.

To meet the requirement of the upcoming session, the AICTE is initially translating books applicable for the first year students in these five languages only, officials said. The council has almost completed the translation work for first year students, officials added.

According to the data shared by the AICTE, books of chemistry, programming, electronic graphic and design, basic electrical engineering, and workshop manufacturing practices, have already been translated to all the five languages. The translation work of Physics and Mathematics books has been completed in all other languages excluding Telugu and Bengali, respectively. Officials said it will be completed by the end of this month. The council has also translated several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), free online courses, and 2531 online lectures available on the government’s SWAYAM portal.

AICTE chairperson Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe said, “The translation work has been carried out by our faculty from AICTE approved institutes having expertise in the subject as well as in the languages. In order to maintain quality of translation, translated transcripts are evaluated or corrected by more senior faculty who possess deep knowledge of subject and language. We have also ensured to retain the technical terms and scientific words in English only since many regional languages do not have substitutes for them. Besides, the colleges continue to teach English as a language subject.”

At most of the colleges HT contacted, officials said that identifying and recruiting teachers who are fluent in the particular language was the first task at hand.

Dinesh Goyal, director of Poornima Institute of Engineering and Technology in Jaipur, said that even as Rajasthan is a Hindi-speaking region, there has been no option for engineering education in the language as of now. “There are some polytechnic colleges teaching in Hindi. We are now recruiting faculty members who have either completed their academics from these polytechnics or had studied in Hindi-medium schools before joining BTech or MTech. So far we have hired eight such teachers. One cannot start offering a course in another language without having staff who are fluent in it,” he said. The institute will offer BTech in Computer Engineering in Hindi this year.

The AICTE allotted 60 additional seats to these colleges for regional languages.

Rakesh Kumar Sharma, vice-chancellor of Graphic Era (deemed to be University) in Dehradun, said the University has revamped its human resource policy and decided to recruit more faculty members “who have expertise in teaching engineering in Hindi as a medium” from now on. The University will offer BTech courses in three branches, including electronics and communication, mechanical and computers, in Hindi from this academic session. “We have also instructed our select faculty members to start writing specialised books for students who would study BTech in Hindi from now on. This year it won’t be an issue as all students study the same content in the first year. We will need branch specific content from next year and our teachers have started working on it,” he said.

Some colleges, including Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering in Pune, Technique Polytechnic Institute in Hooghly district of West Bengal, and Pranveer Singh Institute of Technology in Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), have identified some of their existing faculty members who are fluent in the particular regional language to teach the upcoming batch of students and translate the existing curriculum.

Avijit Karamkar, principal of Technique Polytechnic Institute, said some of their faculty members are also a part of AICTE team translating existing curriculum in Bengali language. “All of our teachers are Bengali speaking. So language won’t be an issue for us. In fact, this shift to Bengali language will encourage students from rural areas to take up technical courses. A large number of our students are from Bengali-medium schools and it becomes very difficult for them to adjust with English when they join the college,” he said.

Meanwhile, HT also reviewed some translated chapters in Hindi. Technical terms and scientific words, including Thermometer, conduction, convention, and radiation; chemical formulas of all compounds and elements, and terminologies of programming in computer engineering, remained the same.

Nilkanth B. Chopade, the deputy director of Pimpri Chinchwad college that will offer BTech in computer engineering in Marathi from this year, said, “One cannot translate scientific words and programming terminologies in any other language. In order to prepare our students for the job market and higher education, it’s necessary that they know these terms and words in English only. We are glad that the AICTE is doing the same. We will also be conducting surveys among our recruiters to understand the future perspectives for these students who will study in a regional language.”


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