Medical education in Hindi: Doctors raise concern, calls move ‘irrelevant’, ‘disadvantageous’ for students

After two states announced medical education in the Hindi language, experts including the President of the Medical Council, professors, and consultants have expressed concern over the same.

Uttarakhand Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat had recently said that the state will soon launch MBBS courses in the Hindi language so that the students from Hindi-medium schools are in tandem with their counterparts from English-medium schools and do not have inconvenience due to changes in vocabulary or language of the curriculum.

Dr. Arun Kumar Gupta, president of the Delhi Medical Council, told the Indian Express that the vocabulary of MBBS is completely based on English and most of the books in modern medicine are written and published in the west. Although the medium of instruction can be changed to Hindi or bi-lingual, the vocabulary of the curriculum should not be altered. Moreover, all reputable research papers and journals are published in English, I have mentioned.

Recently, the Madhya Pradesh government also announced that it will be the first Indian state to launch medical courses in Hindi. The books for the MBBS education in Hindi are being readied and the new Hindi-based system will commence. It will soon be followed in engineering education and other professional courses. However, in September 2021 the National Medical Commission (NMC) did not approve the course. The commission said that medical courses conducted in any language other than English will not be recognised.

AIIMS Rishikesh Professor Dr. Amit Gupta also told IE that finding faculty who could teach medical courses in Hindi will be a challenge. He further said that teachers will need to be trained along with translating the entire syllabus to instruct in Hindi, which will be a tedious process. Moreover, the move will be not appropriate for students from South-India or north-eastern states and many migrate to different states for education from top medical institutes scattered across the country.

As per the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2021, of the top 10 medical institutes, five are situated in the southern region — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Pondicherry. Over 16 lakh students appear for the single entrance exam, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG), for admission to medical courses.

According to Dr. Aloy Mukherjee, senior consultant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, the move will have. A long-standing disadvantage is that medical graduates will have to move out for work. This will make them ineligible to go out and pursue higher education or serve in other countries. Hindi can be added as an adjunct medium of language but designing the entire course completely in Hindi is going to be ‘detrimental’, he said

The National President of the Indian Medical Students Organization (IMSO), Dr. Mohit Singh also expressed similar concern. More importantly, the surgical and pharmacy sectors are completely based on English and one cannot learn modern medicine without the English language he said.

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