AIIMS Bhubaneswar Clarifies On ‘Imposition of Hindi' Issue

22 February 2020

Debashish Maharana

Bhubaneswar: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here today clarified that the internal office order issued by it on February 20 on the use of Hindi has been misinterpreted by the members of the public and media.

"I think that the circular has been misrepresented and misread by the public. It is only meant for those who are proficient in Hindi i.e. those people who have studied in schools where they have learned Hindi as the medium of instruction or they have done some studies in the Hindi language," informed Dr. Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director AIIMS, Bhubaneswar.

Dr. Batmanabane further clarified that the said circular was applicable to the aforementioned people only to the extent possible.

"That means if they know to sign their names they can sign, if they can read they can read. It is only meant for administrative work," she added.

The AIIMS Director made it loud and clear that the order does not apply for interaction with patients or their attendants or for writing prescriptions etc.

She further clarified that the said order was a routine thing under the provisions of the Official Language Act & Rules.

The AIIMS Director informed that first-year undergraduate Medical students of the institute are taught Odia as a language.

Moreover, B. Sc (Nursing) students are taught Odia as a language, they have to pass an exam, she added.  

A delegation of BJD MPs and MLAs led by Puri MP Pinaki Misra today met Dr. Batmanabane and submitted a memorandum expressing their concern over the said order.

"We submitted a memorandum to the AIIMS Director and another to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan through her on our concerns. She has clarified to us that the circular was issued because of the Language Committee's observation that targets are not being met. She has said that it will no way affect the patients. It is the Central government's guideline for internal noting. We requested them for the three language formula as practiced in the South," said Misra briefing reporters after the delegation's meeting with AIIMS Director.

Notably, a controversy had erupted over the order which was misconstrued as the imposition of Hindi on Odisha, which was the first State in the country to be formed on linguistic basis.

The BJD and Congress had condemned the order and had labeled it as the imposition of Hindi on Odisha. 

Dr. Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director AIIMS, Bhubaneswar

Pinaki Misra, BJD MP