HYDERABAD: Books by Indian authors must be given preference in teaching in engineering colleges and also as reference for students over the large number of foreign authors, which are presently in use, the University Grants Commission has said. The circular has been issued as the UGC thinks that it will be an incentive for Indian research scholars to work on research projects and give them the focus of writing text books which is lacking.
Technical books by Indian writers are only a few from those who have done research work in IITs. Even these books, professors in engineering colleges said cannot be taken as the basis for teaching as the information given in them is only supplementary.
Professor Dr S. Balaji, head of the department of ECE of Malla Reddy Institute of Engineering and Technology explained, “A thrust is being given on Indian authors since the students are unable to understand the English of foreign professors. Fifty per cent of the students come from rural backgrounds. We find them struggling with the English language and not being able to cope with the technical terms. But it is not possible to refer to Indian authors when it comes to subjects like mechatronics, computer science and machine learning. I have checked in the market and there is no book by Indian authors on machine learning.
How do you teach a student and what reference material is available to students on such subjects?”
The idea of having Indian authors is good, professors said but is there a conducive environment in universities for the kind of research that is required for technical courses. Professor A.A. Moiz Qyser, head of the department for computer science in Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology said, “We have a culture of being very good in teaching. Hence our thrust is mostly teacher-centric. This initiative is good but we need to create an atmosphere where research scholars can work on subjects and write in depth. Presently, we are seeing a lot of books which are supplementary in nature. If we want more Indian authors we must have the right atmosphere for it.”
A senior professor on condition of anonymity said, “When it comes to trendy subjects like machine learning, mechatronics, electronics, artificial intelligence, there is no work by Indian authors that students can refer to. The research and writing by researchers in Europe and the United States of America is dedicated towards that subject only and hence their material has the knowledge and depth. For this reason both professors and students prefer it.”
To give incentive to Indian research scholars is appreciated, but the students must not be misled into following only Indian authors, experts said....