New Delhi: In a first of its kind move, engineering colleges can now teach their degree courses in as many as eight regional Indian languages, including Marathi, from the new academic year (2020-21) commencing June, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) said.
The other languages in which it would be available are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada and Malayalam as of now.
The move is expected to help aspirants, particularly from rural and tribal areas who stayed away from taking up the course due to a fear of lack of proficiency in English.
"The aim behind the apex body's move is to impart technical education to the students in their mother tongue so that they can grasp the fundamentals in a much better way," said AICTE chairman Anil Sahastrabuddhe.
According to TOI, AICTE is planning to offer UG engineering courses in 11 more languages in future. It will also offer course material in all these languages and also translating courses taught under Swayam and massive open online course (MOOC) portals.
The option had been introduced in line with New Education Policy (NEP) wherein applications were invited from colleges. The option, however, would be available for undergraduate courses and is limited to traditional branches like mechanical, engineering, civil, electrical and others.
The apex body has also put very stringent conditions on those aiming to launch the courses. The colleges need to be accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) and should be among the top-ranked in their respective states. They can start with either the batch size of 30 or 60. The priority would be granted to autonomous institutions fulfilling all the criteria.
"The examinations would be conducted in the languages opted by the students. However, colleges are directed to make arrangements for compulsory English language graded courses with a view to accustom and make them proficient by the time they graduate," Rajendra Kakde, AICTE approval process head told TOI.