Governor Viren J. Shah on Friday asked higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty to introduce a system of circulating Bengali versions of speeches in English delivered by eminent personalities at university convocations.
Shah felt such a system was necessary, as he had often noticed students at university convocations not comprehending what was being said by dignitaries on the dais.
The governor was addressing the inaugural function of a two-day seminar on ‘New Directions of Language and Literature Studies’, organised by the eastern regional office of the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the Jorasanko campus of Rabindra Bharati University.
“I have to address several university convocations. During such visits, I often find that 95 per cent of the students who are receiving their degrees are not following the speeches because they are made in English. I have told the higher education minister to see that translated copies of such speeches are circulated among the students. There is no point in bringing eminent personalities to the convocations if the students do not understand what is being said to them,” Shah declared.
Elaborating on the importance of promoting language and literature studies and observing that “cultural and linguistic diversity are as necessary for humankind as bio-diversity is for nature”, the governor quoted extensively from the Rig Veda.
But before reading out the excerpts in Sanskrit, Shah requested minister Chakraborty not to leave the function, as the lines he would read were not an invocation to any goddess.
“I hope my minister will not walk away,” he said, before reciting the Sanskrit slokas. “It is beneficial to the Indian consciousness to be receptive to the great literature of the world,” the governor asserted.
Higher education minister Chakraborty said that in view of the fast-paced changes in the global scenario, the state needed to modernise its higher education. “Modernisation is necessary, as in the present situation, we need to export higher education. For doing so, we need a large amount of funds.”
Proper measures should be taken to increase government subsidy in the higher education sector, the minister felt. He urged the UGC to come forward to help the state government overcome the situation.