The decision to teach MBBS in Hindi has been taken with the aim of promoting Indian languages in the education system. The move, however, has caused a mixed reaction. While some have applauded the decision, others believe it will increase pressure on medical students.
Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath recently questioned why a similar initiative involving an engineering course was shelved in the BJP-ruled state. He accused the Center of organizing such events and advertisements to divert people’s attention from the “deterioration” of health services in the state.
Indianexpress.com He spoke to some faculty members, experts and incoming students to see their views on the introduction of MBBS curriculum in Hindi.
Dr Rohan Krishnan, President, Federation of Indian Medical Association (FAIMA):
This decision will negatively affect students. Medical education must be up to the standards of international organizations and guidelines; it must tie in with WHO, UNICEF, FDA criteria, etc. This will create unnecessary confusion for students and may even adversely affect the quality of doctors in the country. Currently, there is less effective drug research and quality control in the country, so this decision will not help.
In any country that has opted for the regional language protocol for medical education, the quality of doctors has gone down massively, be it Russia (considered one of the top destinations for medical education), China, Ukraine or even all over the philippines. In all the countries where MBBS regional language training is done, the quality of doctors has declined. In these countries, doctors also face the burden after completing the course as they are not familiar with international guidelines. This leads to poor wages in this country and doctors also struggle to access the medical systems of other countries. Most importantly, patients also suffer from this decrease in quality caused by the teaching of regional languages.
Haziq Parveez Lone, incoming MBBS student:
MBBS in Hindi is not a good decision in the long run because pure Hindi words will be used in books which many students will not know especially the non-Hindi speaking population. Also, most standard video conferences are always in English.
Government should also understand that MBBS is not the end game. To become a good doctor, a student must do a postgraduate course and a super specialization. All these professional courses will be in English. This is where Hindi medium students will suffer as most of them will be stuck in MBBS.
Another issue is that for better understanding students mostly use foreign books in MBBS programs which again are in English. Most importantly, Hindi students will not be able to exchange information properly with doctors or professors from other states and countries about any research program, webinar or seminar.
Dr Ashish Pakhre, Assistant Professor at AIIMS Bhopal:
Proponents of English education claim that the language is used more for research and medicine, and is essential for continuing medical education (especially for students seeking to work abroad). On the other hand, advocates of mother tongue-based medical education defend it as a way to support communication and a way to close the communication gap.
Medical education is not just MBBS, so the important question here is how are we translating the change into further parts of training such as post graduation? How are we looking at the gap that will exist between two different patterns of teaching in terms of clinical work, research activities and global collaboration?
As a result of the globalization of health care, medical education has become a multinational endeavor, requiring enhanced international cooperation. In the field of medical education, the majority of published research and experience in the biomedical field is written in English. Also, it remains to be seen how the technical terms will be translated into Hindi, as this can make or break this idea in terms of globalizing the field.
Saurabh Mittal, Chief Financial Officer, S Chand And Company Limited:
This year, only 21.17% of the total students chose to attempt NEET in Hindi and regional languages, due to which there are no preparation books in regional languages for the medical entrance exam. Hindi books are still available from some of the leading publishers; the number of students in other languages makes it unfeasible, as smaller runs are not viable.
Also, publishers who provide books for NEET preparation may not have regional language knowledge. The gap can be filled by publishers working in the state market like Chhaya (subsidiary of S Chand) in West Bengal, which has infrastructure to carry Bengali editions. This would also allow for better distribution as the distributors for the English and Hindi editions, and those for regional state board books, are slightly different.
The challenge would be to find sufficient faculties to teach in these languages, the professional books in these languages (since most of them are foreign publications), and the acceptability of these professionals in hospitals and the private sector which has largely focused in English. Implementation would take time but it is a welcome change to give long respect to Hindi and other regional languages.
(With inputs from Sakshi Saroha)