The Shiv Sena has urged the ministry of human resources development to undertake reforms in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) by allowing entrance examination to be written in regional languages to facilitate meritorious students from rural areas get admission to the IITs.
The issue was raised by the Shiv Sena MP Bharatkumar Raut in the Rajya Sabha. The government remained non-committal as regional parties across north and south India rallied around the Sena.
Talking to the DNA, Raut said, “In institutes of higher learning such as IIT, student’s merit should be tested in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Students in rural areas who are depending on regional languages as medium of instruction often find it difficult to cope with English while writing papers. Despite excelling in streams of science and mathematics they cannot qualify because of English.”
HRD minister Kapil Sibal answer that IIT is an autonomous body and government cannot interfere was met with protests. What also irked the Sena MP was the government’s justification that English is must for testing language skills.
Raut said, “Dr BR Ambedkar had said education brings quality. In IIT it is noted that more students from the urban areas and English medium schools.”
As Raut said, “Does the government want to say the only English language has the communication skills.”
The issue led to uproar causing a brief adjournment of the Rajya Sabha. Unwilling to budge from the stated position Sibal said, “It is for IITs governing council to decide what language to use for conducting the examination.”
Congress (MP) Satyavrat Chaturvedi, TDP, left front, JD(U) and BSP too joined the protest.