[Answered] Do you think, vernacularisation of medical education is feasible in India? Give arguments in support of your answer.

Introduction: contexual introduction
Body: Write some pros and cons of vernacular medical education.
Conclusion: Give a way forward.

The medium of instruction forms the basic and vital backbone of any curriculum. Unlike a few other disciplines like Law and Civil Services, which enjoy substitutes for the medium of instruction, Medicine is taught in English alone. In India, the basic medium of instruction until high school being dominated by regional or vernacular languages in majority of Indian States.

Feasibility:

  • Promotes linguistic diversity: It will promote the strength, usage, and vibrancy of Indian languages.
  • Benefits for the less-advantaged: This is especially relevant for students who come from rural areas and may feel intimidated by unfamiliar concepts in an alien language.
  • More participation: It will help to increase access to medical education beyond the English-knowing elites. This could generate talented physicians from neglected rural backgrounds with little reluctance to serve in their villages.
  • It will help counter the hegemony of English in professional education.
  • It is of the view that countries such as Germany and China have long been doing so successfully, and so India also can efficiently implement this.

Concerns:

  • Large investments: This measure would require significant costs related to regulatory and administrative alterations. This would include translation of educational materials, training of trainers, and the like.
  • Less demand: It may face considerable resistance in learn into the existing ecosystem and could restrict its scope to a few select institutions. This has already been witnessed in the case of engineering courses.
  • Other courses: Medical education includes various medical courses including MBBS. So other courses would also need to be conceived in regional languages.
  • Employment issues: A considerable segment of medical graduates today are employed in allied sectors like research, business and administration, pharmaceuticals etc. which are firmly deep-rooted in English and are thus likely to be much less welcoming to these graduates.
  • It is argued that this measure may erode the competitive advantage Indian graduates have in the global scientific arena.

Way forward:

  • An incremental approach should be adopted to gradually make medical education in regional languages more harmonious with the current ecosystem. E.g., before offering MBBS in an Indian language, it would be far more prudent to start paramedical courses in that language.
  • The present selection criteria is based more on aptitude than merit, it should be changed according to present requirements.
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