EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, July 4, 2000, Chandigarh, India
Is English at primary level must?
By J.P. Garg
EST Bengal, Orissa, Punjab, Maharashtra and now Haryana- the controversy regarding introduction of English at the primary level refuses to die down. Like Punjab, Haryana seems to have decided to take the plunge without adequate preparation.

Career hotline




Is English at primary level must?
By J.P. Garg

WEST Bengal, Orissa, Punjab, Maharashtra and now Haryana- the controversy regarding introduction of English at the primary level refuses to die down. Like Punjab, Haryana seems to have decided to take the plunge without adequate preparation.

The experience in Punjab is there for all to see. Despite the fanfare with which the scheme was launched two years back, it has hardly made any impact and failed to deliver the goods, especially in rural areas.

No doubt, there are staunch votaries and opponents of this policy and it becomes pertinent to examine its merits and demerits.

In this era of modernisation and globalisation, English has acquired a new status. Especially in the rapidly expanding disciplines of science, engineering, medicine and technology the use of English has become unavoidable. Most states are planning to go hitech in the field of information technology. This involves use of computers, electronic-mail, fax and Internet, the operation of which is best done in English. Thus, proficiency in English is of greater need today than it was at any time earlier.

English is no longer confined to books and libraries. It has become the "langua franca" of the world and has reduced the whole world into a Ďglobal village". More and more parts of the world are falling into its grip because of its universal appeal as a link language.

English enjoys some sort of psychological superiority and its use symbolises high status and culture. To communicate in English is the "in thing". Even if the parents themselves cannot speak English, they expect their sons and daughters to catch up with the times and learn the language.

Admission to all types of professional courses is made on the basis of entrance tests. Both the state and national level competitions are conducted in English and urbanites have a clear edge over rural students in terms of selection.

There is a growing realisation among the rural population that to club the social and professional ladder, mastery in English is a must. As a result, people are not willing to send their wards to government schools, where teaching of English usually starts in class VI. Fully exploiting this psychology of the masses, thousands of so-called "model" schools have mushroomed in small towns and even villages. These are owned by individuals, have been named after missionaries and saints and attract students simply because English is taught in these schools from the nursery level.

Although these schools charge exorbitant fees and other funds, yet middle and lower middle class parents admit their children to these schools to have a feeling of prestige. This has reduced the status of government schools to such a level that only the poorest of the poor seek admission to these schools.

Introduction of English from the primary stage will provide the much needed boost to government schools. The poorer sections of society will definitely be benefited by this move. It will also help bridge the gap between the rural and urban students.

However, the adversaries of this policy have their own line of argument. They say introduction of English along with the regional language will dilute the primacy of the mothertongue. Moreover, learning of both mothertongue and English from such an early stage will put an extra burden on the tinytots.

The critics also aver that the government has its priorities wrong for the need of the hour is to upgrade the quality of primary education. When thousands of primary schools lack the bare minimum necessities of classrooms, furniture, blackboards, drinking water and toilets to induct and grapple with a new problem is only a lopsided approach.

Surveys and studies have also revealed that the teachers entrusted with the job of teaching the mothertongue are not adequately trained for the purpose. How then can, we expect these teachers to deliver the goods in case of a foreign language?

As far as the question of teaching English with a view to preparing students for technical professions like medicine and engineering is concerned, only a small percentage are ultimately able to seek admission to these courses. Burdening the whole lot of students for the sake of only a few speaks of shortsightedness of the government.

A clear distinction must be made between English as a subject and English as a medium of instruction and examination in other subjects. These two aspects are totally separate. Even if English is introduced as a subject from the class I, education in other subjects must be imparted in the mothertongue. Nobody can read, write, learn, understand, think and express better in any language other than oneís mothertongue. Therefore regional languages must continue to be the medium of education.

English primers must be made available to the readers immediately when the subject is introduced. Since children may find it difficult to digest an alien language at the outset, these primers should be written in a simple and lucid style. Rhymes and stories should relate to the local lifestyles and environs. Pictures and illustrations in these books should depict Indian culture and not a western way of life. In this way, children will be able to learn with ease and felicity.

Only qualified and trained teachers should be appointed to teach English. Teachers should be imparted adequate training in specialised institutions like the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, and the Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh. Since thousands of teachers will have to be trained for the purpose, it may prove to be a Herculean task for the government.

The whole scheme should be reviewed periodically and effective steps taken to plug the gaps, if any.


Career hotline

I am doing my graduation and would like to do a diploma in agriculture. Can you tell me about the institutes which offer such a diploma and the eligibility criteria for admission?

Yogesh Dhiman, Ferozepur

Diploma courses in agriculture are offered by the following :

The Gandhigram Rural Institute, Gandhigram, Tamil Nadu offers a 2-year diploma course.The eligibility is 10+2 with Biology or a vocational course in Agriculture.

Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Krishi Nagar, Maharashtra, offers a 2-year diploma after SSc.

Punjab Agricultural University offers a 2-year diploma after SSC with PCM (50% marks)

Punjab Rao Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola, Maharashtra offers a 2-year diploma after SSc.

Training is also possible under Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICARís) Farmerís Training Pogrammes at most agricultural universities. The training focuses on crop-raising, animal feeding, farm management and plant protection.

Farmerís Training Centres (FTCís) also train farmers on extension training strategy. There are 131 FTCs all over the country.

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has also established over a hundred Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKS) for providing vocational education in agriculture at the pre- and post-matriculate levels, especially for those who are already employed or wish to be self-employed in agriculture. The syllabus and programmes of each Kendra are tailored to cater to local needs and cover aspects like cultivation of crops, application of modern techniques, farm planning and plant protection.

I am an 18 year old girl doing my first year engineering. I am very keen to join the Indian Air Force. Am I eligible?

Anushree Dhingra, Ludhiana

Until recently, the only women you saw in the armed forces were officers in the Medical Corps or in the Nursing Service. Winds of change are now sweeping the three services as they open the doors for women to join the officer ranks in a number of different branches.

A start was made by admitting women into the administrative and logistics branches. This has now been extended to the technical branches and a number of women graduate engineers are already serving in different technical units.

More significantly, the Air Force has started taking women into the flying branch (as transport and helicopter pilots). The admission of women is presently confined to the non-combatant sectors in the Short Service Commission for a period of 10 years. SSC officers are eligible for a Permanent Commission in the last year of service. An extension of 5 years is granted to deserving officers.

Since the basic qualification for admission to the SSC is BSc (Phys/Math) or BE, you will be ready to storm this traditionally male bastion on completion of your course if you are under 22 years of age, further relaxable by 2 years for those with a Commercial Pilot License.

The other entry routes for you would be a) through the Direct Entry Scheme for Engineering Graduates for selection to the Airforce Technical Branch or b) as a Ground Duty Officer in the Admin & Logistics, Accounts, Education, Meteorological branches or c) as Fighter/Air Traffic Controller. For complete details read CARINGís Guide to "Careers in the Armed Forces".

Two years after completing my masters, I still havenít managed to land a meaningful job. Should I opt for whatever option comes my way or should I continue looking?

Rashmi Singh, Chandigarh

Looking for the right job is a tough process (Itís a full time job in itself).

The process can be tiring, frustrating and often demoralising. No wonder, many of us settle for the first thing that comes our way, even if it falls short of the ideal. The fact is, we hate rejection. But itís an inevitable part of the process. Remember: nothing ventured, nothing gained! Chances of landing a job you love without working hard to find it are rare today.

Also donít decide that thereís only one job in the world thatís right for you. Be clear about your skills and interests. At the same time, be flexible about how and where youíll apply them.

I have decided to do BCA from IGNOU but different branches of their partner institutes charge different fees ranging from Rs. 40,000-70,000/- and insist that we enrol for their own courses as well. Please help me, Iím really confused. I cannot afford to pay such high fees.

Amrik Singh, Delhi

Since weíve received such lots of queries, let me clarify the picture for you at the outset.

In Delhi, IGNOU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with only two private partner institutions ó APTECH, E-73, South Extension-I, New Delhi 110049, and New Delhi Institute of Management, 61, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, New Delhi 110062. Besides these, you can directly enrol with IGNOU or its designated multimedia learning centres.

The fees for the 3-year BCA course is Rs. 15,000/- only irrespective of where you enrol. No institute can refuse to admit you if you do not wish to take their additional courses separately. Of course, you are free to opt for these extra courses if you wish but it is not mandatory.

If you have any complaints regarding overcharging or denial of admission etc., you may directly contact:

The Director, Regional Service Division, IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068.

The last date of admission to BCA as well as all other IGNOU courses is 31 August, Ď98. So hurry! However, continuous walk-in admissions will be made round the year through partner institutes.

What is the difference between BCom (Pass) and BCom (Hons). Will I face any problem in future. Can I do MCom and then take up teaching as a profession?

Sonica Benegal, Jammu

It is always better to go in for an Honours degree whenever it is offered by a university ó particularly if you wish to pursue postgraduate studies in that field. An Honours course is somewhat more exacting and consists of additional paper/s in the specific subject areas. As far as doing a BEd is concerned, there may be no problem, but you will certainly face a road-block as far as doing MCom or going in for a lectureship is concerned.

Should you decide to go in for an MBA or any other professional course where admission is purely on the basis of an entrance test, your BCom (Pass) would not matter.

I have done my Bachelorís in Chemistry. Could you please suggest a course in paint & varnish technology?

Rama Sikka, Delhi

You could opt for the following PG courses:

V.J.T.I., Mumbai; PG Diploma in Oils & Paints.

Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidya Nagar, (Guj): Post-BSc(Chem) PG Dip (1-yr) inPaint & Varnishes.

University of Mumbai, Deptt of Chemical Technology: Dip in Paint Application Tech; Post-BSc BChem Tech (3-yr) in Dyes, Paints, Polymers.

Laxmi Narayan Instt of Tech, Nagpur: MTech in Paint Technology

Harcourt Butler Technological Instt, Kanpur: MTech in Paint Technology.

Help me help you

Instead of throwing away all those prospectus after you are through with them, could you please donate them for our reference library. These are of great help to students planning their educational options. I would be grateful if you could mail/drop them at my office:

CARING, 24, Feroze Gandhi Rd, Lajpat Nagar-III, New Delhi 24.

Unless otherwise specified, the dates mentioned above are deadlines for receipt of completed application forms.





Jul 24 Instt of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, 24, Tilak Marg, New Delhi 110001.

PG Diploma in Archaeology (2-yrs)

Elig: PG in Ancient or Medieval Indian Hist or MA/MSc with Archaeol or Anthropol (55%) (50% SC/ST/OBC). Age: Below 27 yrs on Jul 17 (relaxation for SC/ST/OBC and in-service candidates).

Selection: Written test & interview.

Prosp: Send request on plain paper, along with a self-addressed envelope (20 x 10 cm) to the Director, ASI.

Armed Forces

Jul 26 Indian Army, ADG of Recruiting, (Women Entry Section) West Block-III, R. K. Puram, New Delhi 110066.

Ph: 6108028, 6196220

Women Special Entry Scheme

For recruitment of Officers in non-tech, tech & specialist categories.

Elig: Grad single women, born bet Mar 2 Ď76óMar 1 Ď82. PGs in Biochem/Comp App/Micro-Biol/Org Chem/Phy/Maths/Eng/Hist born bet Mar 2 Ď74óMar 1 Ď80.

Appln Format: See Employment News Jun 24-30.

Coast Guard

Jul 15 Indian Coast Guard, Recruitment Cell, Coast Guard HQ, National Stadium Complex, Near Patiala House Courts, New Delhi 110001.

Recruitment of:

Naviks (Gen Duty)

Naviks (Domestic Br)


(1): Males; 10+2

(2): Males; 8th pass

Age: 17-22 yrs (27 yrs for SC/ST) on Jul 1, 2001

Appln Format: Employment News 3-9, Jun.


Aug 31 Indira Gandhi National Open Univ, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068.


Dist Educn; Lib & Info Sc; Comp App; Tourism Mgt.


Comp App; Lib & Info Sc; Prep Prog leading to BA, BCom for Non 10+2; Arts; Comm; Sc; Tech in Civil (Constn Mgt/Water Resource Engg); Tourism Stu; Sc in Nursing

PG Dip

Dist Educn; Higher Educn; Maternal & Child Health; Journ & Mass Com; Transl; Rural Devp; PG Cert in Writing for Radio; Adv Dip in Tourism Studies


Tourism Studies; Creative Writing in Eng/Hindi; Early Childhood Care & Educn.

Cert Progs:

Tourism Stud; Rural Dev; Teaching of Eng; Guidance; Food & Nutri; Nutri & Child Care; Disaster Mgt; Environ Stu; Participatory Forest Mgt; Labour Devp; Human Rights; Consumer Protection; Empowering Self-help Groups; Womenís Emp; Computing; Participatory Proj Planning.

Appln F: Send Rs. 80/- by IPO/DD favouring "IGNOU" payable at New Delhi or from IGNOU Regional Centres before Jul 31.

Bharathidasan University, Centre for Distance Education, Tiruchirappalli 620024

Admission Notification 2000-01 for following courses:

Professional: MCA; BCA; PGDCA

Undergrad: BA (Tam/Hist/Eco/Co-op); BBA; BCom; BSc (Maths)

PG: MA (Tam/Eng/Hist/Eco); MCom; MSc (Maths)

Semester: MA (Co-op); MS Info Tech; Master of Bank Mgt/Financial Mgt

Last dates: UG Courses: Aug 31; MCA & PG Jul 31; PGDCA Aug 16.

Appln F: Send Rs. 100/- (MCA/PDGCA & PG); Rs. 50/- (for others), by crossed DD (separate DD for each course) favouring "Centre for Distance Education, Bharathidasan University" payable at Tiruchirappalli and drawn on any of the foll: State Banks of: India, Mysore, Tranvancore, IOB, Andhra/Canara/Indian Bank alongwith your name, course and full postal add on plain paper to the above add.

Univ of Delhi, School of Corresp Courses & Continuing Educn, Delhi 110007.

BA (P)

BA (H) (Eng; Pol Sc)

BCom (P)/(H)

Elig: For Pass: Class XII.

Hons: Class XII (45%)

Age: 17 yrs on Oct 1.

Appln F: Send Rs. 25/- by IPO/DD favouring "The Principal, School of Correspondence Courses & Continuing Education" payable at any branch of any nationalised bank or Rs. 20/- in cash at counter from following centres:

South Study Centre, South Moti Bagh, Nanak Pura, New Delhi-21. Tel: 6882897.

Forms for BA/ BCom (P) at:

Rajdhani Coll (Raja Garden); Guru Gobind Singh Coll (Pitam Pura); P.G.D.A.V. Coll (Nehru Nagar); B.R. Ambedkar Coll (Geeta Col); Bharati Coll (Janakpuri).

Jul 28 Madurai Kamaraj Univ, D/o Distance Educn, Univ Bldgs, Palkalainagar, Madurai 625021.

Open University System:

BA (Hist; Eco; Pol Sc; Social Sc; Eng/Tam Lit); BSc (Maths); BCom; BBA; BCA.

MA (Hist; Eco; Pol Sc; Public Admin; Eng/Tam Lit; Gandhian Thought; Philo & Relig; Sociol; Labour Mgmt); MCom

Regular Courses:

BA (Hist; Eco; Pol Sc; Social Sc; Eng/Tam Lit); BSc (Maths); BCom; BBA.

MA (Hist/Eco; Pol Sc; Public Admin; Eng/Tam Lit; Gandhian Thought; Philo & Relig; Sociology); MSc (Maths); MCom.

MPhil in Tam; Eng; Hist; Eco; Comm; Pol Sc; Public Admin; Labour Studies; Enterepreneurship; Educn; Maths; Gandhian Thought

Proff Courses: MBA, MBM, MLM, MTM, MA (Advt & Pub Rel/Journ & Mass Com), MLISc, BLISc, BGL.

Cert (Lib Sc)

Dip Labour Laws & Admin Law, Astrology; Saiva Siddhantha

PG Dip Mgmt, Journ & Mass Comm, Mktg Mgmt., Personnel Mgmt & Industrial Rel.

Info Tech MCA; BCA; PGDCA; PG Dip in E-Comm; Dip in Info Tech

Appln F: Send Rs. 280/- (for MBA & MCA), Rs. 130/- for BSc (Comp Sc), Rs. 80/- (for rest), by DD favouring "Programme Officer" to the above add.

Univ of Madras, Instt of Corresp Educn, Chepauk, Chennai 600005.


BA (Hist, Eco; Psycho; Indian Mus, Co-Op; Tam, Eng Litt)

BSc (Maths; Geo; Psycho).

BCom/BBA (Bank Mgt)

BCS (Corp Secretaryship)


BLit. (Tam)

PG (Reg):

MA (Hist; Pol Sc; Public Admin; Eco; Tam & Eng Lit)


MSc (Psycho)

Calendar Yr 2001

BLISc, MLISc, MCA, Cert & Dip


Regular: Hr Sec under 10+2/11+1. For BCA: Maths and/or Comp Sc as subj of study

OUS: No formal educn; 18 yrs on Jul 1. Appln F: Send Rs. 100/- by crossed a/c payee DD favouring "The Director, Institute of Correspondence Education, University of Madras, Chepauk, Chennai 600005 along with requisition letter mentioning course.

Or Rs. 70/- in cash from counter at: 1) C-153, Okhla Inds Area Ph I, New Delhi 20. Ph: 6813750 and 2) EMPI Business School, CS Kiran Memorial Educn Cmplx, Satbari, Mehrauli, ND 30. Ph: 6804210.


Jul 30 Institute of Aerospace Engg, E-Mahavir Nagar, Moti Nagar Rd, Bhayander (W), Mumbai 401101.

Telefax: 8190822

BE (4 yr)



Dip in Mech

Elig: (1): 10+2 (PCM) (50%)

(2): 10+2 (PCM) Pass/Dip holder

(3): 10th pass.

Appln F: Send Rs. 230/- by DD/MO favouring "Institute of Aerospace Engg" payable at Mumbai.

Jul Jul 28 Regional Engg College, Kurukshetra 136119.

MTech (1-Ĺ-yrs)

Civil, Electl, Mech, Electron & Commn, Instru Engg.

Appln F: Send Rs. 525/- by DD favouring "Principal, REC, Kurukshetra" till Jul 24 or from counter Rs. 300/-, cash.


Jul 12 Univ of Jammu, D/o Management Studies, Jammu.

MBA (2 yrs)

Elig: Bachelorís degree (50%)/CA/CWA/CS/AMIE (50%)

Test: Jul 30 at 11 centres including Bílore, Chígarh, Del, Aísar, Jídhar & Kuru.

Appln F: Send crossed DD for Rs. 500/- favouring "Head, Department of Management Studies, University of Jammu" along with self-addressed, stamped (Rs. 25/-) envelope (18 x 25 cm) before Jul 5 to Member Sec Competent Authority, C/o D/o Mgmt Studies, at the above add or from counter with DD before Jul 10.


Jul 12 Univ of Jammu, D/o Management Studies, Jammu.

MBA (2 yrs)

Elig: Bachelorís degree (50%)/CA/CWA/CS/AMIE (50%)

Test: Jul 30 at 11 centres including Bílore, Chígarh, Del, Aísar, Jídhar & Kuru.

Appln F: Send crossed DD for Rs. 500/- favouring "Head, Department of Management Studies, University of Jammu" along with self-addressed, stamped (Rs. 25/-) envelope (18 x 25 cm) before Jul 5 to Member Sec Competent Authority, C/o D/o Mgmt Studies, at the above add or from counter with DD before Jul 10.

Para Medical (Corresp)

Aug 31 Indira Gandhi National Open University, School of Health Sc, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi 110068.

BSc Post Basic Nursing (3 yr)

PG Dip in Maternal & Child Health (PGDMCH) (1 yr)

Elig: (1): Working Nurses with Dip in Gen Nursing & Midwifery after 10+2 with 2 yrs wk ex (5 yrs wk ex for those with 10 yrs of schooling)

(2): MBBS (internship completed before Dec 31 í97).

Appln F: Send Rs. 80/- by DD/IPO favouring "IGNOU" payable at New Delhi. Also at IGNOU regional centres.

Physically/Hearing Impaired

Jul 31 Training Centre for Adult Deaf, (M/o Soc Just & Empo, GoI), Nalgonda Cross Rd, Malakpet, Hyderabad 500036.

Engg & Non-Engg courses

Elig: M/F hearing impaired (loss above 60 dbs); Age: 14-25 yrs.

Selectn: Entrance Test (res for SC/ST).

Appln F: Apply on plain paper enclosing certs of qualifications, marks, hearing loss etc. to the Principal at the above address.


Jul 15 Ch. Charan Singh Univ, Meerut 250004

MPhil & MA/MSc/MSc (Ag)

in various disciplines

MEd (1 yr)

MHRD (4 sem)

Adv Dip in Personnel Mgmt & Indstl Rel (PMIR) (1 yr P/T)

Russ/Germ/French (Dip/Adv Dip)

Dip in Jyotish (2 sem)

Appln F: Send Rs. 400/- by DD favouring "Finance Controller, CCS University Meerut" to Dean Studentís Welfare at the above address or from Allahabad Bank at the univ campus, Rs. 350/-, cash.

Univ of Delhi, Delhi 110007


In Fac/Deptt of: Arts; Social Sc; Sc; Math Sc; Music & Fine Arts; Mgmt Studies; Medical Sc; Technology; Inter-Disciplinary & Appld Sc; Appl Social Sc & Humanities; Law; Educn; Commerce & Busi.

Post MA/BSc Diplomas

Cert/Dip/Adv Dip

In various lang/subj

Info: Contact respective Faculties/Deptts for dates, entrance tests. Unless otherwise specified, the dates mentioned above are deadlines for receipt of completed application forms.

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New Delhi