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Last updated: 29 Nov, 2022  

VS.9.thmb.jpg Medical education in Hindi is need of the hour: MP Minister Vishwas Sarang

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The BJP government's fresh move to introduce Hindi as an optional language in technical and medical courses has brought the issue to the fore again. While the BJP is relentlessly pushing it in the name of 'national language', some non-Hindi speaking states have opposed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government's concept of imposing Hindi.

As Madhya Pradesh is set to be the first state in the country to introduce Hindi in medical courses as a pilot project on the direction of the Centre, state medical education minister Vishwas Sarang, who is monitoring the project, in an exclusive interview with IANS shared the concept which is going to be implemented by November this year.

Q: The Madhya Pradesh government is going to start MBBS courses in Hindi from November this year. Why is the Hindi language required in medical or technical courses?

A: First, Madhya Pradesh is in the Hindi heartland and we are thankful to PM Modi for giving this opportunity to the state to start this pioneering project. Second, yes, introducing Hindi in medical courses is the need of the hour, especially in a state like Madhya Pradesh where 70-75 percent of the population lives in the rural areas and they speak Hindi only. Our aim is to provide an opportunity to the students to pursue their career in their mother tongue.

Q: But, imposition of Hindi is creating a conflict between Hindi and non-Hindi speaking states. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin has warned of a mass agitation against it. Even the Congress leadership in Madhya Pradesh has raised various questions?

A: PM Modi is invoking 'matri-bhasha (mother language), which is of course Hindi. Our aim is not to create a conflict but to provide our coming generation, who are non-English speaking, an opportunity to pursue their medical degree. If because of a language barrier our children give up pursuing a career in technical and medical courses, then is is injustice to those who do not speak English.

The conflict is being created by those having an English culture. This step should have been taken years before, but the Congress has always believed in the English culture.

If non-Hindi states are opposing this step, then I would ask them why they are teaching their students in their regional language. I don't think they should have any problem if Madhya Pradesh is providing medical and technical education in Hindi.

Q: An experiment in Hindi was already done in engineering courses in Madhya Pradesh. The Opposition claimed the concept received no response as there was no clarity in it?

A: Those saying that our concept of Hindi in engineering courses failed, they are wrong. They should know that things are in a beginning stage. For the last 70 years, people have been forced to be restricted to English, especially in technical and medical courses. It has been done purposefully by the English lobby to maintain their monopoly in these subjects.

Hindi courses was introduced in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi College in Bhopal. We accept that the concept did not receive the expected response, but that does not mean that the concept was wrong. It will take time for people to understand that their children can make their career after pursuing courses in Hindi also. Things will change one day, it's just a beginning.

Q: Will it be mandatory for students to opt for Hindi in MBBS courses during the pilot project?

A: Let me clear that, students would be free to decide the language during the pilot project in Gandhi Medical college and also when it would be implemented in all the 13 government-run medical colleges.

We have just given an option to the students willing to pursue medical courses in Hindi. Also, there would be no separate batch or class for Hindi. There would be a combined class of students and they would have both Hindi and English books of their syllabus.

Q: In the era of globalisation where English has become the first preference for students, do you think that students who pursue a MBBS degree in Hindi would be able to compete on the global stage?

A: See, the content of the subject is the same. Hindi medium would help them to understand in a better way because they are used to it. Further, the text books of MBBS courses have been prepared with a combined content of English and Hindi. We have not changed the terminology of MBBS courses, which of course can't be done.

I would like to make it clear that those students who complete their MBBS studies in Hindi would be able to compete with those in English, because the content has been prepared in a way that they can learn English also.

It was a kind of mindset that medical courses can't be pursued in Hindi, but the vision of PM Modi made it possible and Madhya Pradesh is going to implement it.

Q: As the medical education minister you are monitoring the entire project, let us know how the preparations began?

A: First of all we set up a separate department, Hindi Prakoshta (cell) and a war room to execute the plan in Gandhi Medical college, which was named 'Mandhar'. Then a team of medical experts was constituted, which has as many as 97 doctors, who execute this entire project.

We started our preparations six months back at the war room and three text books were prepared for the MBBS course for the first year. Work on some other text books for the first year and second year is underway.

Q: Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh are just a few months away and therefore questions were raised on the timing of releasing the text books.

A: It has nothing to do with the elections. The fresh batch of medical courses is set to begin from November and this is the reason the text books were released. It is not a political issue and I believe the opposition would understand it.

This project is very close to me and I am totally focused on starting the pilot project. I would feel a sense of relief the day our pilot project would take off finally in Gandhi Medical college in November. After that it would be implemented in all 13 government medical colleges in the state.
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