Published: 24th November 2021
Engineering in Tamil is important for state's development, says Anna University VC. What is the ground reality?
Velraj invoked education in countries such as Germany, Japan and Russia where technical courses are taught in native tongues
Education in the native tongue is important for the development of Tamil Nadu, according to the Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, R Velraj. Speaking on the sidelines of a book exhibition in the university, Velraj said that in countries such as Germany, Japan, and Russia, technical courses like engineering are taught in the mother tongue, and people there have been excelling in the field. He added that education in students’ mother tongues should be promoted as people would be able to learn well if they study various subjects, including engineering, in their own languages.
“Learning different professional courses, including engineering, in Tamil will help students become better professionals,” he asserted. His statements assume significance as a recent survey conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) found that nearly 44% of students voted in favour of studying engineering in their mother tongue, with Tamil and Hindi being the most preferred choices.
In September this year, the University had cleared two colleges, Erode Sengunthar College and Rathinam Technical Campus, to offer Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering, respectively, in Tamil. “Students from rural belt have been enquiring for Tamil medium engineering courses as it will be easier for them to understand the subject,” said V Venkatachalam, principal of Erode Sengunthar College.
However, former vice-chancellor of Anna University E Balagurusamy had warned that without creating sufficient course materials in Tamil to teach students and ensuring job opportunities for them, the move is not going to yield any results. A Times of India report in April after the AICTE survey quoted career consultant Jayaprakash Gandhi saying, "Those who picked Tamil medium are struggling in campus recruitment. They are also not able to go for higher education as the GATE is conducted only in English."
The current VC stressed that people can learn other languages, but should first learn and promote their mother tongues. He further said government schools and educational institutes must promote the mother tongue. On the occasion, Velraj also said in-person classes for first-year students would start in a couple of weeks.