Allahabad: Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has favoured the use of "mother tongue" as the medium of instruction up to the secondary level while asserted that English is useful but could not be a substitute for the vernacular languages.
"The knowledge of English is, no doubt, useful. But it can not be a 'vikalp' (substitute) for 'matrubhasha' (mother tongue)", Naik said on the sidelines of a function held at the Allahabad University yesterday.
"I think that the mother tongue, be it Hindi or any other vernacular language, should be the medium of instruction at least up to the secondary level. Students tend to learn better when they study in their mother tongue. This I know from my own experience. I had done my schooling through the Marathi medium", the Governor said.
Naik was speaking to mediapersons after inaugurating a seminar conducted by the University's English Department.
Earlier, addressing the seminar, he expressed unhappiness over the increasing use of "colloquial and grammatically incorrect English" among the younger generation and exhorted teachers to take corrective measures.
Speaking at the seminar, career diplomat and noted novelist Vikas Swarup said "three Cs - curiosity, confidence and computer - are the key to success in the 21st century".
Swarup, who shot to fame after his novel's (Q & A) adaptation into Academy Award-winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire", said he did not agree to the view reportedly expressed by Nobel Laureate V S Naipaul that the age of novels was over.
"As long as there is human civilisation, there will be novels and there will be people who love to read and write these", said Swarup, whose latest book "The Accidental Apprentice" is being made into a film by Bollywood director Sriram Raghavan.