Published: 19th September 2018
Quota seats vacant as law students prefer English as medium of instruction over Tamil
The state government has introduced a 20 per cent reservation for 'Person Studied in Tamil Medium' (PSTM) in law colleges in the previous academic year. But there is no significant demand
As the never-ending debate of making Tamil the official language in Madras High Court is still on, most of the students studying law at Government Law Colleges choose English as the preferred medium of instruction over Tamil.
Around 10 seats out of 120 meant for Tamil medium was vacant in the Tiruchy Government Law College during the year 2017-18. According to sources, the seats may not be filled in this year's counselling either. The state government has introduced a 20 per cent reservation for 'Person Studied in Tamil Medium' (PSTM) in law colleges in the academic year 2017-18. Sadly, there is no significant demand for Tamil streams compared to English.
Most law students prefer English as their medium of instruction as all the communication at higher judiciaries will be in English and not in any regional language. The practical difficulty faced by the Tamil medium students is that they are allowed to write their exams only in Tamil. But, for the English medium students, they can write in either of the languages and attend lectures in English as well. A total of 60 seats allotted for Tamil medium hardly gets filled. The situation is same at law colleges across the state except for the new ones at Villupuram, Ramanathapuram and Dharmapuri districts.
Sources at Tiruchy Government Law College said that the students who once choose Tamil medium cannot shift the stream to English once finalised. "We teach in bilingual languages for the students in English medium as they can write exams according to their convenience. The Tamil medium students could not enjoy such benefits as them," sources added. Similarly, the reasons for students preferring English medium are they could be lectured in both languages, the English play a prominent role in higher judiciary. Also, the citations of the judgements and standard books of foreign and Indian authors can be understood better in English.
However, the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University and its professors are translating the books into Tamil to benefit the students. Law college professors explain that the Tamil medium students with the 20 per cent reservation will have wide opportunities after their studies. The state government currently offers around Rs 400 as the stipend for each Tamil medium student in law colleges. But, the lack of awareness among the students is the reason cited by the professors. K Pannirselvan, president of Tiruchy Bar Association said, "Having declared Tamil as the officials medium of communication in Madras High Court could have increased the strength in Tamil streams of law colleges. Students are being told that studying only in English could enlarge their skills. This is a stigma prevailed across the state and this must be changed."