The University Grants Commission on Wednesday held a meeting with international publishers to discuss about bringing out textbooks for undergraduate courses in Indian languages, and has set a timeline of 6-12 months for the same.
Representatives from Wiley India, Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Cambridge University Press India, Cengage India, and McGraw-Hill India were part of an online meeting called by UGC Chairperson M. Jagadesh Kumar.
“We have formed an apex committee to prepare a road map to work towards bringing out textbooks in Indian languages used in undergraduate programmes such as B.A., B.Com, and B.Sc. We intend to translate many textbooks into Indian languages in six to twelve months. Subsequently, we will also cover postgraduate programmes. The publishers’ representatives have expressed their willingness to partner in this national mission,” Professor Kumar told The Hindu.
The course books will be translated into various languages including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, Odiya, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu.
The UGC has informed the publishers that it would like to encourage Indian authors and academicians to write the textbooks in regional languages. It has also suggested that a model needs to be jointly developed to provide textbooks at affordable prices, in digital format.
The UGC has also offered to provide hand-holding to publishers regarding the identification of textbooks, translation tools, and experts for editing.
The All India Council of Technical Education has already brought out 270 first-year engineering textbooks in 12 regional languages, and Home Minister Amit Shah recently launched the first set of the first year M.B.B.S. books in Hindi in Madhya Pradesh, in October. At the insistence of the UGC, the Bar Council of India has also formed a panel headed by former Chief Justice of India S. A. Bobde for translating legal books in regional languages.