Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will be the first institute in India to offer non-technical courses in regional courses. The university is currently working on modalities to offer courses in regional languages.
JNU has formed an apex committee that is closely studying the National Education Policy 2020. The committee will be framing courses for subjects like economics, international relations and political science in regional language. The courses might be offered in online mode as well.
In the upcoming years, JNU has also proposed to increase the number of 4-years undergraduate programs. The varsity is looking forward to using Hindi as a medium of instructions of the courses before beginning with other languages.
M Jagadesh Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, JNU, said, “Discussions about offering courses in regional language are on at present, though nothing has been finalised.” According to him, extending high quality courses in regional languages will democratise education in the truest form.
He added that as most of the students hail from villages and disadvantaged backgrounds, they have strong determination. They only need the right opportunity to flourish. Referring to the Census, Kumar said only 12% of the people in India know English.
He continued, “The top 10 countries with the highest number of Nobel awardees deliver their education till the PhD level in their mother tongue. In fact, 95% of the engineering and medical students stay in their home states and it will be tremendously advantageous for them as well as for the development of that region.”
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As per the VC, these online courses will focus on reaching out to 5 lakh scholars across the country who can avail the learning, sitting in their homes, as it is delivered in the college campus.
The apex committee is at first focusing on courses which can be offered in regional languages on an immediate basis. Once the courses are framed in regional languages, they will be delivered in online means also.
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A senior official from the committee said, “The committee is working out a plan where many provisions of NEP could be implemented without funding being an issue. There are a couple of things in active consideration, including offering courses in regional language and introduction of the four-year-undergraduate programme.”
JNU is also focusing on increasing UG courses with 4 years duration and multiple exit options. However, such aspects will take some time on creating deliberations as well as for preparations.