Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh on Sunday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly favours use of vernacular languages for promoting science communication and also to provide a level playing field to every aspiring youth to compete in science without facing any disadvantage on account of ignorance of English or Hindi languages.
He pointed out that of late, there are many youth in different streams who have topped in the All India competitions after doing graduation in their mother tongue and cited the example of one of the five toppers in IAS/Civil Service Exam few years ago who had done his entire education up to BA in Telugu medium.
Dr. Jitendra Singh was formally releasing “Vigyan Jattara”, the Dogri language version of widely read, national monthly science magazine published by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, at Brigadier Rajinder Singh Auditorium in the University of Jammu.
He also announced that the Kashmiri language version of the same magazine will be launched soon.
Vice Chancellor of University of Jammu, Prof Umesh Rai, Vice Chancellor of Central University, Jammu Prof Sanjeev Jain and Prof Lalit Magotra, former head of Physics department, University of Jammu and also famous Dogri writer spoke on the occasion and appreciated Dr Jitendra Singh’s efforts for overall development of Jammu as education hub of North India.
The Minister said, in a technology driven world of knowledge and progress we owe it to the youth of this country to provide them with appropriate curriculum, literature and options to study Science in the language of their choice and be able to compete with the students of English or Hindi medium.
He said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong conviction in this regard is borne out by the fact that after the historic decision of 5 August 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated, Jammu and Kashmir became the only UT in the country to have five official languages i.e. English, Hindi, Urdu, Dogri and Kashmiri.
While it is an established fact, said Dr Jitendra Singh, that language has no corelation with excellence in Science and countries like Russia, Japan and China have risen to be the first line leaders in scientific progress without the knowledge of English language, the contradiction in India is that for nearly two centuries we followed Lord Macaulay’s policy of education as a result of which all the important textbooks and literature in science is available and read mostly in English language. In this regard, he solicited the help of science-knowing Dogri scholars to help translate the English language science textbooks into Dogri language without compromising the essence and meaning of expression.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, PM Modi’s special thrust on promotion of Science and Technology is fully visible in revolutionary decisions like unlocking of Space Sector for private players, joint ventures in Atomic Energy initiatives and ably amplified in 75,000 Startups with 100 Unicorns in a very short span of time.
The Minister said, promoting Science communication and education in Indian languages is one of the key focuses of the present government and the efforts are on to make available science textbooks in vernacular languages to the students, He said, a group of resource persons has been tasked in this mission.
The Minister said, when the most advanced countries like Russia, Japan, Germany and China can have the best of science literature and projects in their mother tongues, India has also taken the lead to communicate modern science and technology in all the Indian languages. He said, our learning becomes deeper when we study in our mother tongue.