Special Correspondent

"It's being upgraded as its responsibilities have increased"

NEW DELHI: The English and Foreign Languages University Bill - seeking to accord central university status to the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad - secured Parliament's approval on Tuesday with the Lok Sabha unanimously passing the legislation. The Bill had been cleared by the Rajya Sabha earlier.

As a result, CIEFL - which has been a deemed-to-be-university since 1973 - will now be rechristened the Institute of English and Foreign Language University. The legislation drew all-round support in the House though some members insisted that similar attention be paid to other Indian languages.

Opening the discussion, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development M.A.A. Fatmi said CIEFL was being upgraded because its responsibilities had increased manifold with the advent of globalisation that had generated a great demand for picking up foreign languages. Later, while replying to the discussion, he clarified that not just English, but courses in several other languages including Russian, Arabic and Spanish would be offered at the Institute.

During the course of the discussion, Mohan Singh (Samajwadi Party) made out a case for giving equal importance to Indian languages - a point echoed by Brajesh Pathak (Bahujan Samaj Party) who said people should not have reservations about speaking in their mother tongue.

Also, Mr. Singh wanted to know why the Ministry had not acted on the recommendations of the committee that had looked into the functioning of the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya.

C. K. Chandrappan (Communist Party of India) said the Institute should not only promote literary translations but also translation of scientific material, an area in which India is lagging behind. Further, he said the Government should consider setting up an institution to train people in democratic practices like the Kerala Institute of Local Administration.