Published: 15th October 2022
In a first, MBBS textbooks to be available in Hindi in MP; other states follow suit in respective regional languages
The very idea behind introducing books in Hindi and regional languages is that 90 per cent of patients don’t know English
Madhya Pradesh may be the first state to roll out textbooks in Hindi for medical students, but medicine will soon be taught in regional languages as well.
Chamu Krishna Shastry, Chairman of the High Powered Committee for the Promotion of Indian Languages under the Ministry of Education, said they have already initiated dialogues with the National Medical Commission (NMC), which is a statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education, state medical councils, medical universities and colleges and also doctors and professors on preparing medical syllabus in Hindi and also in other regional languages.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, he said that the Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, Dr Sudha Seshayyan MS, has already started preparing a glossary on medical terms in Tamil language.
Amit Shah to release MBBS syllabus in Hindi
Chamu Krishna Shastry said Home Minister Amit Shah would release the country's first MBBS syllabus in Hindi for students on October 16 as part of the Madhya Pradesh government's initiative to teach higher education subjects in Hindi as part of the education initiative. Hopefully, other states will follow suit, he added.
“They (MP) have prepared textbooks for first-year MBBS students. They are working on preparing the rest of the medical course books. The main aim is to bring medical textbooks in both Hindi and other regional languages also,” he pointed out.
“NMC will take the lead role, and we will approach states to introduce medical education in regional languages. We will be talking to medical universities, engaging with regional language doctors and states for this,” he said.
While teaching in English will continue, students will have the option to study both in Hindi and their regional language.
Reasons behind this
The idea behind introducing books in Hindi and regional languages is that 90 per cent of patients don’t know English. It is understood that doctors have to interact with the patients, convince and inform them about their condition and medicines. For that, doctors have to speak in the patient’s language, which is usually Hindi or their mother tongue.
A large section of the students come from mother-tongue language mediums, and all of a sudden, when they start medical education in English medium they find it difficult to understand the subject, they lack proficiency in English, two they are unable to comprehend medical language, Shastry added.
He said many medical students don't want to go abroad, opt for higher education or travel to other states for jobs.
“These students, mainly from rural areas, would like to work in their hometowns or villages. So we will be able to create a workforce catering to rural healthcare facilities. This will be an advantage. The quality of the books won't be compromised, but we will develop and enhance the level of medical education as we will provide medical students alternatives," Shastry added.
Doctors oppose the step
The medical fraternity is already up in arms against the move. Dr Rohan Krishnan, Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) President, said, it will affect the students adversely. “Medical education needs to be at par with international guidelines and bodies,” he said, adding that students will get unnecessarily confused and the quality will fall.
Dr Furquan Ahmad, former joint secretary Resident Doctors Association (RDA) RML, tweeted, “Teaching MBBS in Hindi is a regressive step. Hyper nationalism is the root cause. Tomorrow, they will demand to launch it in Sanskrit, but what's the point of writing English words in Devanagari script for political agenda? NMC is a complete failure.”
Dr Manish Jangra, the founding member of FAIMA, said doctors, after completion, will find themselves unfamiliar with international guidelines and thus will have to depend on poor salaries. “This retrograde step will take the country 50 years behind in the coming ten years,” he said.