THE MEDIUM OF INSTRUCTION IN UNIVERSITIES ESSAY ENGLISH
This, of course, was mainly due to the political accident of British Rule in India. The Britishers imposed their own language as the medium of higher education. Yet the fact remains that generations of Indians have derived considerable benefit from studying various subjects through the medium of English; for English happens to be a highly developed language in which adequate literature on every subject is available.
However, since independence, there has been a natural desire to replace this foreign language by one of the Indian languages as the medium of University education. 'There is no doubt that a foreign language cannot indefinitely continue to be the medium of higher education.
It imposes an avoidable strain on the studying and hampers the acquisition of real knowledge. This is particularly true in the last two decades when, for various reasons, the standard of English has fallen considerably.
The real question is, not whether English should or should not be continued as a medium of instruction and which Indian language should replace English and when it should do so.
There are two grave difficulties in adopting regional languages as the media of University education. Firstly, on account of years of neglect, most of the regional languages are not adequately developed. No regional language possesses a sufficient number of books on scientific and technological subjects.
Some people think that the translation of a few standard textbooks in English will solve the problem. Such people have no idea of what higher education is. A University student should have access to a large number of books on the subject of his study; and he is expected to keep abreast, through periodicals, of the latest developments in his subject.
Hence, if the standard of higher education is to be maintained, the regional languages have to be adequately developed and enriched before they can be introduced as the media of instruction.
Another important consideration is maintaining the unity of India and facilitating the migration of students and teachers from one region to another. If all the fourteen Indian languages become the media of education in different parts of the country the movement of students and teachers from one university to another would be impossible, and exchange of ideas between scholars of different universities would be difficult.
This would strengthen the forces of disintegration which are already at work. Hence in the interests of the unity of India and of the dynamic advance of knowledge, there should be a common medium of instruction throughout the country.Like other regional languages, Hindi is not adequately developed today.
But serious and planned efforts can be made to develop and enrich it, and to produce in it a sufficient number of books on all subjects. The opposition to Hindi from the South will die down gradually, particularly when it gets sufficient time to learn and master Hindi. Till Hindi is adequately developed, English should continue as the medium of instruction in our colleges.
It should be remembered that in the sphere of education revolutions are likely to be disastrous. Educational reforms should be introduced only when preparations for them are complete and then too, gradually and in a phased manner.
Difficult Words: Migration - movement from one place to another. disintegration - breaking up into small parts. phased - gradual, in stages