Naidu lauds engineering colleges offering courses in regional languages

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New Delhi, Jul 21 (PTI) Lauding the move of 14 engineering colleges across eight states to offer courses in regional languages, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday urged more educational institutions, particularly those imparting technical and professional studies, to follow suit.

'It is my desire to see the day when all vocational and professional courses like engineering, medicine and law are taught in mother languages,' he said in a Facebook post, titled 'Engineering courses in mother language-A step in the right direction', posted in 11 Indian languages.

Naidu expressed happiness over the decision of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to permit B Tech programmes in 11 languages -- Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi and Odia.

He also welcomed the decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight states to offer regional languages in select branches from the new academic year.

'I strongly believe that it is a step in the right direction,' he said.

Referring to the benefits of learning in the mother tongue, the vice president said it enhances one's grasping and comprehension levels.

'To understand a subject in another language, one has to first learn and master that language, which needs a lot of effort. However, this is not the case while learning in one's mother tongue,' he felt.

Highlighting India's rich linguistic and cultural heritage, he said the country is home to hundreds of languages and thousands of dialects.

'Our linguistic diversity is one of the cornerstones of our rich cultural heritage,' he said. Emphasising on the significance of mother language, Naidu said people share an umbilical cord relationship with it.

Citing a UN report that one language in the world becomes extinct every two weeks, Naidu expressed concern that 196 Indian languages in India are endangered.

He said there is a need to adopt a multipronged approach to protect native languages and promote learning in the mother tongue.

Appreciating the steps taken by the government to protect languages, the vice president pointed out that New Education Policy encourages imparting education, wherever possible in mother tongue, local language, regional language or home language at least till Class 5 and preferably till Class 8 and beyond. Naidu also appreciated the Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages (SPPEL) under the Ministry of Education for documenting and archiving languages that have become endangered or are likely to be endangered in the near future.

The Vice President said that the government alone could not bring about the desired change. 'People's participation to protect our beautiful languages is critical to strengthen this thread of connectivity for our future generations,' he said.

Noting the hesitancy amongst people to communicate in their mother tongue, Naidu urged people to speak in their mother tongue not only at home but wherever possible. PTI NAB SMN SMN

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