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Should IIT JEE exam include English?

Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics are the only subjects to appear in joint engineering entrance (JEE) examination. Besides these three royal subjects, English is not part of JEE Main entrance test syllabus. As the entire world eyes the best minds from the top engineering colleges in India, the examination syllabus does not include an efficiency test in English. There go arguments and counter arguments about inclusion of English to know the efficiency of candidates in language. As experts feel candidates aspiring to become future technologists as engineers need full command in English, they opine that with good command over this language the engineering students could soon excel as future technologists as till today, this language stays the main bridge for communication in the world.

Engineers share a broad platform with their innovations, where they would have to express with fluency and clarity. As engineers educated in India are growing in number in every company in the world, flair in writing and fluency in speaking English are the true necessities for today. As in India, people still consider English as a legacy of past that we have continued to follow blindly despite the end of British rule, several persons would disagree to place English as a subject for test in IIT-JEE. Let’s find out some of the real grounds that JEE Exam should or should not include English as a subject in the entrance examination. This would highlight whether we are giving true weight to this subject to help us to become leaders in the field of technology.

In-depth knowledge of English would help candidates in their development

Raja Ram Mohan Roy of Brahmo Samaj movement and Swami Dayanand Saraswati of Dayanad Anglo Vedic (D.A.V.) movement in pre-independence period were renowned social reformers. Knowing well that efficiency of Indians in speaking and writing English would give them their due places in world, they had advocated the cause of learning this language at every level of education in school and college. For instance, when Swami Vivekananda spoke eloquently in parliament of religions on the 11th September, 1893 in city of Chicago, everyone in the world came to know about greatness of Indian minds.

Engineers are torch-bearers of technology and with sound knowledge in English, they would stay capable of placing their ideas before the world as Swami Vivekannada did it in parliament of religions. Expression is true need for proving efficiency. Including English in JEE would create the scope of adding to the power of expression in the institutions, where they go after qualifying in the JEE for the study Engineering and later at the work places, where they would face the challenge of proving their merit.

Command over English could keep the students connected with the world

Gradually, online classes have become virtual necessities. Be it any kind of study, students search and learn more in online classes and searches. Now interaction among engineering students has become intense in the social media networks and blogging sites. Studies say almost every student in engineering takes help of ‘Google’ in making searches about studies in different subjects, while online coaching classes are making their presence felt all over the world. 

The important point is students in India could only stay connected with all these changes only by expressing in English language. So depth over communicative skill in english is literally a necessity for every student in India.  Now, let’s discuss few such grounds, which discourage inclusion of English in the syllabus of IIT JEE exam.

Students from vernacular medium schools would lag behind

As we find often, students from vernacular medium schools lag behind in English, although they are good at Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. When the syllabus for JEE includes English, they would find this tough. For many years, the vernacular medium schools in India kept the necessary passing marks in English miserably low just to increase pass percentage of students at 10+2 level.
Moreover, when English becomes a special paper for JEE, the questions in grammar, comprehension, and précis writing would become tough ones as per the tradition in IIT-JEE, which the students from vernacular medium schools might fail to answer.

Inclusion of English language would bring mindset to serve abroad

Over decades, India has gone through heavy brain-drain from top institutions like IIT and IIM to the foreign nations. When English becomes part of syllabus for JEE, it would make the standards of engineering students in India at par with the best in the world. But it is more likely to bring a trend for heavier brain-drain because the best eligible candidates would have the mindset to go abroad and settle there in a comfortable life-style. This defeats the basic purpose of improving the quality education in Science and Technology in India because the nation cuts a sorry figure in every field of research and development because of heavy brain-drain taking place for last decades.

Do we use English just for profession or more than that?

JEE is one of the most important examinations of India. Including English in its syllabus would not emphasize our need for promoting our own national language-Hindi and other regional languages. Here goes the important question that whether, as Indians, we have used English just for our professional need or given it more than its due place. As JEE is a symbol of national unity that takes place to give every deserving student a fair chance in good technical education, including English in it would mean that we have allowed our own languages to suffer and promote a foreign language. 

The reality is before a long time, we began learning this language just for our use in profession but it has now come to take a major part of our life and culture. In true sense, the use of English needs to get restricted to purposes of communication and profession. Our own identity and nationality would lose their significance, when we put English to use at every place unnecessarily. Strict discretion in its right use would make sure that we are doing justification to our own cause.