Amit Shah to launch Hindi version of MBBS Year One books on October 16

The planned launch comes at a time when the chief ministers of two southern states have expressed their reservations against an alleged decision to use Hindi as the language of instruction in key institutions in Hindi-speaking states and regional languages ​​elsewhere. .

The planned launch comes at a time when the chief ministers of two southern states have expressed their reservations against an alleged decision to use Hindi as the language of instruction in key institutions in Hindi-speaking states and regional languages ​​elsewhere. .

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will launch the Hindi versions of first grade MBBS books in Bhopal on October 16. With this, Madhya Pradesh will come one step closer to becoming the first state in the country to provide medical education in Hindi.

The planned launch comes at a time when the chief ministers of two southern states have expressed their reservations against the alleged decision of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language, also headed by Mr Shah, to employ Hindi as the language of teaching at key institutions in the Hindi-speaking states and regional languages ​​elsewhere.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however, believes that the initiative will change the mindset of people, who will see that one can progress in life even after receiving a Hindi education, as well as feel a sense of pride in his mother. language. In his public interactions, Mr. Chouhan has often expressed his support for higher education in Hindi. Mr Shah, during his last visit to Bhopal in August, also said that India’s fascination with the English language had prevented 95% of the country’s talent from contributing to its progress.

The translated versions, said state medical education minister Vishvas Sarang, of the books on medical biochemistry, medical physiology and anatomy, were prepared by a committee of 97 doctors over the course of eight to last nine months.

“On February 11 this year, we held the first meeting and subsequently formed a working group and a Hindi Chikitsa Prakoshth (Hindi medical cell). We then identified authors and publishers of books that were used as textbooks in most colleges and signed memorandums of understanding (MOA) with them to avoid legal hurdles. Then we asked doctors from government medical colleges to translate the content,” Sarang said.

Editorial | Language as a barrier: making the mother tongue the support of higher education

The minister added that not everyone agreed with the idea initially.

“There was resistance from the experts. Some said it wasn’t possible while others said students might lose the competitive edge, but we persisted with all of those caveats in mind. A group of doctors prepared the first draft, another refined it. Then come the validation and proofreading stages. We chose three subjects because they are mainly taught in the first year,” Mr. Sarang said.

“The first thing we had to put out of people’s minds was that it couldn’t be done. The Germans did it, so did the French and the Macedonians,” said Dr Neelkamal Kapoor, one of the committee members.

Read also | How India’s Many Languages ​​Can Be Used as an Educational Resource

According to Dr Kapoor, the aim is to provide a bridge for students studying in vernacular languages ​​before undertaking medical studies.

“As a rule, English is introduced late in vernacular schools, and by the time a child reaches the age when he must prepare for the medical examination, the emphasis is more on science subjects than on the subject. learning English. Thus, many students with good academic results tend to struggle in college due to their lack of communication skills,” she said.

Rupesh Verma, a first-year postgraduate medical student enrolled at Gajra Raja Medical College in Gwalior, cites his own example. “I come from a village near Rewa and Hindi was my language of instruction until school. But when I got to medical school, I had to sit down with a medical dictionary because I had trouble understanding what was written in books or taught in class. Things had gotten to such a point that after scoring 40th in the Madhya Pradesh pre-medical test, I could barely pass the university exams. It was also one of the factors that delayed my PG (post-graduation) admissions,” he said.

There are, however, fears that a Hindi-centric approach would deprive students of crucial opportunities and the practical difficulties this entails.

Aakash Soni, former state chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Association of Junior Physicians (undergraduate wing), said if such a decision was made mandatory, then such candidates would only be able to work in Madhya Pradesh or from other Hindi speaking states. “If someone wants to go abroad, especially to countries like the US and UK, it can be difficult for them to pass the eligibility tests or even work there. There are many doctors in India even in the colleges of Madhya Pradesh who have come back after improving their knowledge and expertise in these countries. Such opportunities will be limited,” Dr Soni said.

Read also | Why it is important to offer college and university programs in regional languages

Two other Bhopal UG medical students, who chose to remain anonymous, also expressed reservations. While one said medical education involves going through many reference books and medical journals in English, and a mix of languages ​​can be confusing, the other, a medical intern from the north East India, feared that people like him might find it difficult to learn a language that was not their first or second language during their childhood.

Dr Satyakant Trivedi, a psychiatrist who is also a member of the committee, said that, understanding these constraints, the committee retained English or Greek terms without using their Hindi words. “So we avoided using merudand for the spinal cord or Shira for the veins and instead used the English words and wrote them in Devnagri. We didn’t want the translated versions to create their own problems,” Dr. Trivedi said.

The project will start at Gandhi Medical College (GMC) in Bhopal before being extended to all 13 government-run medical colleges during the current academic session.

Although a clearer roadmap of further moves in this direction has yet to emerge, Sarang said more books will be translated in the coming days. Madhya Pradesh Director (Medical Education), Dr Jiten Shukla, said the exercise should not be seen as a ‘Hindi vs English’ debate as the state had no plans to scrap the books in English. Instead, he said, it was to provide a parallel platform for students who have Hindi as their first language.

“Students write the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) in Hindi, so they can choose to answer in Hindi if they wish in the later stages of the programme. Even now medical colleges allow answers to be given in Hindi,” Dr Shukla said.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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