The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) has placed emphasis on the empowerment of students from rural languages backgrounds. The All India Council of Technical Education has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology to enable these students to receive a technical education.
Experts stress that the goal of enabling teaching-learning in regional languages isn’t to replace the English language. It is more about giving students the tools they need to succeed in a world without English.
Chairman, CSTT MP Poonia says: “In accordance with NEP’s concept of introducing outcome based Engineering education, have we revised English language coursebooks to make them more simple. He says that the next step was to translate them in regional languages.
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Since 1961, CSTT has been translated into Hindi approximately 9 lakh words in law, agriculture, and other fields. Poonia adds that 45,000 of these are engineering technical words. He says that the first-year textbooks of Engineering and Polytechnic courses are already being translated into Hindi and are currently being printed. Poonia says that 37 books have been printed. 170 more are on the way and will be printed within two months.
This vocabulary can be used to translate second year books for Engineering and Polytechnic classes in Hindi. “We have completed 88 subjects in Electrical, Electronical and Civil Engineering. Poonia says that we are currently identifying Hindi-language authors. He says that the goal is to complete this process by July 2022.
Hindi is not the only language
CSTT has identified additional major languages that can be used to translate technical terms. These include Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Odia, and Malayali. “The Marathi and Odia vocabulary has been translated. The process of creating books in these languages remains ongoing. Poonia says that we are still looking for specialists to help us translate the technical terms and write the books in the other languages.”
Some students were hesitant to take engineering courses in regional languages in certain states. “Students should understand that we don’t aim to replace English by offering technical education in their native language. Poonia says that the idea is to shift away from rote learning and to provide a more understanding-based education system.
Anil D Sahasrabudhe (chair, AICTE), explains that “In every book the technical term will be first mentioned in English followed by the corresponding word in the regional language.” Students who have been to regional language schools will be able to better understand technical terms. He says that students will be able access translated material from books, and can then refer to any terms or definitions in English books.
He says that language is only a tool for understanding the phenomenon being discussed. Sahasrabudhe says that while the English term identifies the “action” being discussed, the translation will make it easier for students to understand the topic in a specific regional language.
Sahasrabudhe also believes that enriching regional languages is another goal. “All languages take time and effort to develop and become more integrated. He says that the addition of technical terms to the vocabulary of identified regional languages will enrich these languages and empower those who have completed their schooling in these languages.”