Bhopal: As observers warn of another Doklam-like standoff showdown, Indian security forces are leaving no stones unturned to stand tall in front of Chinese troops. Apart from taking steps to counter China, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are now learning Mandarin to break language barriers.
Nearly 25 jawans and officials of the ITBP will take up a one-year certificate course in the Chinese language at the Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies in Madhya Pradesh's Raisen district, reported news agency PTI.
Two ITBP inspectors and two jawans have already completed the year-long course and are currently posted at the border.
Last year, Union Minister Rajnath Singh has asked ITBP troops deployed along the Sino-India border to learn Mandarin in order to ensure better communication with the Chinese counterparts and avoid misunderstandings during face offs. The statement had come days after Indian and Chinese troops exchanged blows and hurled stones at each other near Pangong Lake in Ladakh on Independence Day 2017. At the time, the tensions were already high between the two nations over Doklam row.
Echoing similar views, university's registrar Rajesh Gupta said that learning Mandarin will be helpful for the ITBP, which has to deal with the Chinese-speaking people along the Sino-India border.
More ITBP personnel will now join the varsity, located around 12 kms from the UNESCO world heritage site of the Sanchi Stupa - the hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of Buddha.
The course training will commence in July 2018.
"Our course is designed as per the needs of the ITBP. Besides learning the Chinese language, the course also provides them an insight into the Buddhism religion," he said.
The course books are in three languages - Hindi, English and Chinese - so that students can understand and grasp the text easily.
"We have used pictures and same sentences in three languages to make them understand the Chinese language easily. There are several villages along the border in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir where the Chinese- speaking followers of Buddhism live," he said.
Over the last few days, reports of China boosting its high-altitude capacities and equipping People's Liberation Army (PLA) with powerful combat weapons have emerged.
With PTI inputs