The BJP-led government in Madhya Pradesh with much fanfare became the first in the country to introduce an MBBS course in Hindi medium, but two months later it has no information on the number of first-year MBBS students who have opted for Hindi.
For instance, in Gandhi Medical College (GMC) in Bhopal where Hindi medium MBBS course was supposed to start as an experiment, there are a total 250 students in the first year, however, there is no system to identify the numbers who have opted for Hindi medium.
“The system of opting for a medium of language for students is yet to come. Those willing to study in Hindi, will have translated books. We are also planning to provide separate classes for those who want to study in Hindi medium,” said Dr Arvind Roy, Dean of GMC.
On the lack of a system to identify the number of students opting their medium of study in Hindi, doctors in GMC itself put varied questions — as to how to figure out how many students are taught MBBS syllabus in Hindi? Also, if there are language opting systems for students, then how will the exams be conducted?
To justify the system, the college administration, however, said: “Syllabus will be the same for all students, and it is up to the students to decide whether to write answers in Hindi or English.” To this, Dr Roy added: “See, the system (Hindi medium MBBS) has been introduced aiming to encourage Hindi medium students or those who are weak in English. It is to ensure that language should not be a barrier. It is just a beginning and the system will be upgraded as per the needs of the students.”
A doctor, who is also a senior professor in GMC, said that only a few books of first year’s syllabus have been translated from English to Hindi and presenting that as “MBBS is in Hindi” will be unjust.
“I believe that at least medical students would not do it. Students, even those doing MBBS courses in Hindi, should improve their English otherwise they will face problems. Because, it is totally a research-based study and the entire research and books are in English,” said a professor, requesting not to be named.
The three textbooks — Biochemistry, Anatomy, and Medical Physiology — that were translated from English to Hindi by three different writers — were released in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 16.
The process of translation had been begun six months ago by a team of 97 medical doctors. To start with, the medical education department of the state government set up a separate – ‘Hindi Prakoshtha’ (department) in Gandhi Medical college. The department will continue to function to ensure the implementation of Hindi in MBBS courses, as the same will be introduced in 13 government-run medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh.
Translated books — Biochemistry, Anatomy, and Medical Physiology, as of now are available at only book centers in Bhopal. “Three volumes of each translated book are available and one book will cost around Rs 800 to Rs 900,” said Manish Jain, owner of Jain Book Centre to IANS.
Now, the further question arises whether all these translated books would be available for students at the GMC’s library, like English books. A professor in GMC said that first year’s students would spend around Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 on books only.
“MBBS students need to study at least two-three writers’ books for one search. They can’t rely on just one book, therefore, students get books from the library. As of now, translated books are not available in the college library,” said another doctor in Hamidia Hospital, who is also a GMC alumnus.
Replying to this issue, Dr Arvind Roy said, “I believe the state government has definitely planned to provide books in the college library. Things will be clear in the next few days. The college administration will act according to the direction received from the state government. If the system has been introduced with a larger plan, things will improve in that way.”