'Chinese language to be introduced as part of CBSE curriculum'

"China is our powerful neighbour and emerging as a biggest consumer of global resources. We can not wish it away. The best way to introduce China in India is to introduce its language at primary level so that our kids develop interest and knowledge about China," Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal said.

The issue figured high on his talks with China's Education Minister Yuan Guiren, who promised to work out modalities to train Indian teachers in Chinese language in India.

"Let us get enough Indians to learn Chinese. Let us have a lot of Chinese trainers in India who will teach the young students in schools. That is how we evoke interest in our kids about China. There is no other way to do it," Sibal told Indian journalists here. Learning it at primary level is better than learning at tertiary level which is more of acidic interest, he said.

"I told Yuan I am willing to introduce Chinese in the CBSE system as a course. I can not do that unless I have standards and a there is a test. That can not happen unless I
collaborate with you," said Sibal, who also took part in the World Economic Forum in Chinese city of Tiajin.

The Chinese side said that a two way programme can be worked out to train about 200 teachers. Some can come here to learn and other in India through different methods, the human resources minister said.

Sibal said he has already spoken to CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi and obtained his consent to make Chinese part of its curriculum. It would be introduced as soon as teachers would be available, he added.

Sibal has also proposed to China to extend its sponsorship programme to exchange scholars from universities in different subjects on the lines of Full Bright Scholarship. India as a reciprocal gesture will support equal number of students, he said.

Sibal, who visited Peking University and held discussions with its officials on various subjects, said the salaries of the staff tallied mostly with that of their Indian counterparts. The university has about 34,000 students out which 20,000 were that post graduate students unlike in India where there are more graduates than the post graduates, he said.

To deepen the cooperation among universities, 10 Vice Chancellors of India and China would meet here next month to discuss specific issues of collaboration. At present 25 Chinese and Indian universities are collaborating, he said, adding a joint working group has to be set up to discuss the recognition of educational institutes of both the countries.

He, however, ruled out extending recognition to Chinese medical degrees in India, which is the demand of scores of Indian students who are studying in Chinese medical

It is an issue for Medical Council of India (MCI) which has not extended the recognition to Chinese colleges and there is nothing his ministry could do about it. The same is the case with the Russian Medical degrees, he said. Sibal also met Chinese Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang at Tianjin and took part in the discussion on sustainable development at WEF meeting.

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