The New Education Policy which is yet to be released by the Modi government is likely to include the provision of offering higher education courses in all Indian languages. If this comes into effect, students across India would be able to pursue B.Com, B.Sc, B.Tech, MBBS courses in their own mother tongues.
Across India, medium of studies in higher education has been the English language predominantly. Experts opine that inclusion of mother tongue as a medium of studies would improve the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education.
Many students from rural background who have studied in regional languages find it difficult to cope with college where English remains the medium of instruction. As the government plans to increase the GER, removing the language barrier would go a long way.
If the policy comes into place, translation of textbooks into regional languages will also start.
States like Tamil Nadu already provide higher education courses like engineering in Tamil. Anna University is said to have started providing engineering courses in Tamil way back in 2010. However, they find no takers.
According to a New Indian Express report published in August 2019, only 44 seats of the 120 seats for Tamil medium in Anna University's Tiruchy campus were filled for that academic year which is the highest when compared to its other constituent colleges in different districts. The colleges at Vizhupuram and Tindivanam both having 60 seats for Tamil medium, have only 3 and 4 students respectively. The situation is worse in Ariyalur and Arani campuses where not a single student has opted for Tamil medium which has earmarked 120 and 60 seats for Tamil medium courses.
One of the primary reasons is that companies that come for recruitment prefer students who are fluent in English. Even if a student pursues a course in Tamil medium, it becomes an obstacle for the student to find an appropriate job.