Students, who join civil and mechanical engineering courses in four Anna Universities and their 11 constituent colleges the next academic year, will have the option of learning their subjects in Tamil.
Announcing the government’s decision, K. Ponmudy, Higher Education Minister, told reporters that the Tamil medium of instruction would enhance understanding of students, who could perform “extremely well” in examinations.
There would be no compulsion on students to join the Tamil medium. It would be optional, the Minister clarified.
A panel of vice-chancellors of the four Anna Universities would be formed to prepare materials in Tamil for the two courses and the committee’s report was expected to be ready in a couple of months.
Even those who were pursuing courses in English would be permitted to take examinations in Tamil. Already, the question papers for students of arts and science courses were being taught in Tamil too.
K. Ganesan, Principal Secretary (Higher Education) later told The Hindu that an additional section of 30 students would be created in 15 institutions each for the two disciplines. Through this, 1,800 students totally could be accommodated. There was no requirement for them to take the consent of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
As for self-financing private colleges, the Minister said there was no requirement for the colleges to take approval from the AICTE to teach the courses in Tamil but if they wanted to increase intake, the clearance was required.
Dr. Ponmudy said that in Bharatidasan University, the M.Tech course in computer science was being offered in Tamil.