Hindi: Hindi MBBS books: some warn of ‘loss of standards’; “promote understanding”, say others

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Even as the government prepares to urge more states to launch medical courses in regional languages ​​– Madhya Pradesh on Sunday became the first state to roll out MBBS textbooks in Hindi – several doctors have raised concerns about to the challenges of getting a huge amount of medical terms translated into many languages ​​and warned of loss of quality.

Many others, however, hailed the move, saying that if implemented well, it would benefit the people of India, including improving student understanding and, eventually, communication between doctors and patients.

Experts, however, stressed the need for standardization of technical terms in Indian languages. Regarding medical education, the National Medical Commission, a statutory body responsible for maintaining the standards of medical education, also discusses with institutions and trainers to prepare medical curriculum in other regional languages.

Suvrankar Datta, Chief Adviser of the All India Federation of Medical Associations, which includes young Indian doctors, pointed to concerns about creating substandard doctors, which is not in the interests of society. . “So far the textbooks that have come out in MP in Hindi…we have gone through them, and their quality is way below the foreign authored textbooks that we have gone through. So we don’t think it’s a good decision to take the leap.”

FAIMA has already opposed this decision saying it has nothing against regional languages, but said that for medical education to be on par with international guidelines and bodies, it is important to not create any confusion.

Many of the doctors ET spoke with also erred on the side of caution. Arun Gupta, chairman of the Delhi Medical Council, told ET that the exercise currently being attempted is simply translating English terms into Devanagari script, which is a pointless exercise.

“Most government college students come from non-English speaking backgrounds, go through the rigor of practice and theory and deal with it. It’s a rewarding experience. I don’t think they are at a disadvantage because they are assessed on the basis of knowledge of medical subjects, not English grammar.Many countries like China have redesigned their medical education policies, and others also offer English.In addition, doctors know the local languages ​​anyway to talk to patients about their condition and explain medications. The reason it’s called modern medical science is because it has global standards.”

Chamu Krishna Shastry, chairman of the committee for the promotion of Indian languages ​​under the Ministry of Education, said the panel was talking to stakeholders and saw great interest among teachers to help with translation.

“90% of our country does not know English. Critics raise questions about international standards. Do these standards not apply to countries like Japan and Germany that offer courses in their own language? “, he asked.

He said the Bharatiya Bhasha Samiti will hold workshops in all states and come up with an action plan in the next two to three months.

“It is an old and growing demand among the people of the country and NEP’s push towards regional languages ​​is only a reflection of this feeling and the result of a natural evolution of the thought process among people. Over the next ten years, I envision technical, vocational and STEM education in all regional languages ​​and up to their availability in English,” he added.

Shastry said the intention was also to broaden students’ horizons of thought and not overwhelm them with a language they haven’t studied before. “It’s a myth that all medical students want to go abroad. Many come from rural areas and it will be helpful to integrate them into a workforce that takes care of rural health facilities.”

Roshni Thimmaiah, a community health expert, said from now on the language of instruction is compulsory in English and it is important to have a combination of English and local languages ​​in engaging with medical students. “Regional languages ​​will reduce the gap we currently see in communication between doctors and patients. It also has the potential to help young doctors better understand the country and its traditional medicine systems and concerns.”

“It’s politics and hyper-nationalism. The goal of every doctor is to constantly improve their knowledge. All the journals today are in English. Why prevent our young graduates from improving their skills? ” said Delhi-based cardiologist and FAIMA member Manish Agarwal.

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