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After IITs defer it, AICTE opens up engineering education in regional languages


New Delhi: After Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) deferred engineering degree in regional languages, education regulator All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Friday said it has now given option to engineering colleges and engineering departments in universities to offer courses in regional languages.

The regulator said, a sample survey by it has showed that 42% of students in existing engineering schools are eager to take up engineering courses in vernaculars if provided with an option. He said engineering colleges who enjoy a fair degree of autonomy or those accredited by government run national board of accreditation can offer engineering in regional languages.

“Autonomous and accredited institutions can start teaching in mother tongue. It’s not mandatory but an option for institutions. We have done a survey that shows that 42% said that given an opportunity, they will study it in mother tongue,” said Anil Sahasrabudhe, chairman of AICTE said.

He said a similar study by one IIT has showed that the percent is around 20% among IIT students and it’s a different situation at IITs, he said.

The union education ministry in November had announced that it will push for technical education especially engineering in mother tongue from next academic year from 2021-22 academic year and had indicated that some of the top schools like IITs and NITs may offer them first.

Later, the IITs decided not to go for such a move in 2021 and decided not to conduct the Joint Entrance Exam-Advanced (JEE) in several regional languages.

The AICTE chairman said that lack of books and teaching-learning material in mother tongue is an issue but authorities are working to plug that gap at to some extent by the coming academic year. He said online open courses developed on a government platform is getting translated into eight regional languages. He also said that experts are working to translate books from English to regional languages.

The regulator believes that over the next three- four years, engineering teaching in mother tongue is likely to gain acceptance.

The chairman said it will take few years and the aim is not to make it mandatory but to give an option to those who wish to study in mother tongue. Universities and institutions will decide what is feasible for them keeping in mind the ground realities.

Bringing clarity to non PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) students getting eligible for engineering courses, Sahasrabudhe said it’s a window of option for certain kind of courses that a university or institution wishes to offer. It not a replacement of PCM for engineering courses nor can a student demand to get admission via this.

He said if an institution wishes to offer admission, let’s say in biotechnology, they can evaluate if biology is a better subject for them or chemistry along with mathematics and physics.

“Universities will offer suitable bridge courses such as mathematics, physics, engineering drawing, etc for the students coming from diverse backgrounds to achieve desired learning outcome of the programme,” the AICTE writes in in the Approval Process Handbook 2021-22.

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