New Delhi: The country’s apex body for technical education institutions has asked engineering, management and other institutes to promote and use books by Indian authors in their curriculum.
In a letter to the heads of all technical institutions Friday, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) asked them to use books written by Indian authors to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
In 2018, the AICTE had launched a model curriculum for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including books by Indian authors. The suggested list was made available to all institutions in early 2019.
Referring to this curriculum in its letter, the council said such “high-quality and cost-effective books will definitely aid the students in their better learning of concepts, and in turn improve their quality and simultaneously fulfil the aim of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’”. ThePrint has accessed a copy of the letter.
PM Modi called for an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) early in the pandemic, looking to make the country “a bigger and more important part of the global economy” while being self-sufficient.
The AICTE believes under this mission, effective and large-scale use of books authored by Indians will not only promote many Indian authors globally but will also be a strong step towards fulfilling the mission of “Self-Reliance and Self-Sufficient lndia”.
It added, “So, in view of above, you are kindly requested to make this ‘AICTE list of Books by Indian Authors and Publishers’ available on your university/institute website, and contribute your might towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.”
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‘What matters is content’
The colleges had a mixed response to the directive. According to some of them, as long as the government doesn’t make anything mandatory, they have no issues with using Indian authors’ books. However, others noted that books by Indians are cost-effective.
Sandeep Mishra, a chemical engineering faculty at a private engineering college in Rajasthan, said, “There are a lot of reference books and readings that students need for technical courses like engineering. I refer a lot of such books to my students as well and they are from both Indian authors and foreign authors. What actually matters is the content, not the nationality of the author.”
He added, “But as long as using Indian author books is not mandatory or we are not restricted to just that, we do not have a problem using them.”
S. Ramachandran, who teaches engineering at a private college, also agreed with this view. “Colleges do not have a problem with using Indian author books as long as that is not the only thing we are asked to use,” he said.
“We are already using Indian author books for our courses… foreign author books are expensive and our students cannot even afford them,” a faculty member from a Government Polytechnic in Indore said on condition of anonymity.
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If there is no compulsion, what is need for issuing such circulars? AICTE is out of its mind and trying to restrict access to knowledge. If foreign authors and publishers start putting copyright cases then half of the Indian authors and publishers will be in jail. Are they stopping foreign journals as well? They are making patriotism cheap stuff.
This is an extremely myopic idea, it could have only come from a fake deshbhakt, which is what all the RSS/BJP clan are. A student to become the best must study from the best books available. Period.
This is not a good idea. Indian authors and publishers of text books are yet to come anywhere near the quality of books published by McGraw Hill, Prentice Hall, John Weily etc. Knowledge is like fresh breeze. It must be welcomed from every direction. Encouraging the use of Indian books is alright. It must not lead to shutting out foreign books. That would be a great disservice to the student community.
Hope AICTE will not say that rhe students have to learn only the concepts/technology proposed or developed by Indians.
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