The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have either resisted or preferred to ignore a central government diktat asking them to translate the existing literature in their subjects to different Indian languages as part of a measure to offer professional courses in local languages.
Documents accessed by The Telegraph through the RTI Act show that the Union education ministry wrote to all higher educational institutions under its administrative control in 2021 to translate the literature.
The Union ministry issued an office memorandum in October 2021 with a subject line: “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav — Translation of existing literature by Universities (using AICTE translation tools)...”.
“It has been decided that under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, existing literature has to be translated in different Indian languages. At least 75 Universities have to be involved in this activity over next two years. AICTE (the All India Council for Technical Education) has developed translation tools which can be used for basic translation purpose, following which further improvements/corrections may be made,” said the ministry’s office memorandum.
“UGC (the University Grants Commission) and Bureau Heads are requested to mobilise Universities/Autonomous Organisations, under their administrative control, in this exercise and keep this Division informed of the activities being taken,” it added.
This office memorandum was forwarded to all institutions, including the IIMs, under the ministry in November 2021.
IIM Bangalore, IIM Kashipur and IIM Udaipur responded to the ministry the same month, expressing their disagreement. The remaining 17 IIMs have not responded to the ministry.
“IIMB is a Management Institute. We do not have literature for translation into other languages,” wrote the chief administrative officer of IIM Bangalore in an email to the Union education ministry.
Similarly, the then IIM Udaipur director, Janat Shah, wrote to the ministry: “We would like to inform you that translation of existing literature by Universities (using AICTE translation tools) is not applicable to IIM Udaipur.”
IIM Kashipur chief administrative officer M. Ramasubramanian wrote: “With respect to the training e-mail, this is to inform you that the matter is not applicable to IIM Kashipur.”
An AICTE official said that it is translating the literature in engineering subjects through Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The Union education ministry has been persuading the IITs and NITs to offer their courses in Indian languages. The National Education Policy has recommended that more higher education institutes should offer programmes in local languages.