India to start teaching medicine in Hindi starting with Madhya Pradesh State

INDIA – The Guardian has reported that India’s Modi government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is stepping up efforts to reduce the use of the English language in India.

Last Sunday (October 16), the BJP-ruled state of Madhya Pradesh announced that three of the subjects for medical students in the state would be taught in Hindi. Madhya Pradesh is India’s second largest state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the announcement as the start of Madhya Pradesh state government’s initiative to provide medical education in Hindi and said it would bring a very big positive change in India.

“This debut in the field of medical education is going to bring a great positive change in the country,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted in Hindi.

“With these thousands of students being able to study in their own language, many doors of opportunity will open for them as well.”

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Following the Madhya Pradesh state government announcement, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand also announced that they would also offer Hindi medical courses.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said he was proud that the BJP government of Madhya Pradesh had fulfilled Prime Minister Modi’s dream of launching medical studies in Hindi. With this announcement, Madhya Pradesh has become the first Indian state to offer medical education in Hindi.

Since coming to power, the BJP has lashed out at English, calling it a “colonial relic” surrounded by a “servile mentality”. Modi and his BJP leaders spoke in Hindi, the language mostly used in northern India. Modi has often spoken of freeing Indians from the “colonial mentality” left behind by the British Empire.

In October, government officials in BJP-ruled Maharashtra were banned from saying “hello” when greeting members of the public. Instead, they should say “vande mataram” or “I bow to you, oh homeland”. The English names of some army regiments were also changed to Hindi.

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Medical establishment dismayed by BJP decision

After the announcement, doctors were appalled at the Madhya Pradesh state government’s decision. Until now, medicine was taught in English all over India.

Over the past nine months, an army of translators has attempted to translate medical terms such as biopsy, neuroblastoma and haemorrhoids into Hindi. The Hindi textbooks for the 3 medical subjects: anatomy, physiology and biochemistry would have been completed and ready. Freshmen from 13 state medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh will be taught in Hindi from November.

“We aim to ensure that children of poor parents become doctors and engineers even if they are not educated in English…” Modi said.

His government emphasized the teaching of technical and medical courses in Indian languages. The idea is that students can better develop their cognitive and analytical skills and be more rooted in their culture if they are taught in their mother tongue.

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Dr Rajan Sharma, former head of the Indian Medical Council, disagrees with Modi’s medical education initiative. “It’s regressive, backward-looking, pathetic, deplorable,” he said. “Where are the Hindi-speaking professors to teach medicine? I’m not even going to talk about the quality of the translations, because that implies that we accept the policy, which I don’t accept. The policy will be a failure.

“These graduates will be dealing with human lives. And textbooks are only part of medical courses. There are hundreds of reference books, manuals and medical protocols, most of which are in English, which are essential to the training and functioning of a doctor,” said Dinesh C. Sharma of The Tribune newspaper. .

However, Dr. Arun Shah, a pediatrician, saw no problem in teaching medicine in Hindi. “If the rest of the world can learn medicine in their mother tongue, then why not Hindi?” He asked.



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