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05 Dec 2023, Edition - 3066, Tuesday

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English, Vinglish anyone?

Subhashini R


Choosing a college for your ward, who was somehow unable to crack the entrance examinations for prestigious engineering colleges in the government and the private sector? For those uninitiated into the Queen’s language, the brochures and websites of the colleges may look and sound professional and even a tad academic. But for those with little familiarisation with English language, a walk through the websites is certain to leave them somewhat amused, aghast and even confused.

Just look at the sample of these “advertisements to lure the student community” and the creative juices that have gone into the making of these messages for the masses.

Consider this website of an Engineering college in Thirunindravur, affiliated with Anna University, for a collection of gems in high-sounding words when strung together tell you almost nothing. This college website has its stated Vision: “To nurture innovative future leaders in technology, entrepreneurship and management who create wealth for our nation and develop a fulfilling global society.” And its Mission states: “To create a model educational institution contributing to innovation, entrepreneurship & technology management for our country.”

Perhaps the intention of the college was right, but in the process of conveying its message, the college ended up telling nothing. For the discerning reader though, it comes out as if the framers of this Vision and Mission statements knew a few key words — ‘technology, entrepreneurship and management’ and thought it to put them in any which way to come out with a compelling advertisement of itself.

Ambiguous terms like ‘fulfilling global society’ and ‘wealth of our nation’ seem a little out of place and vague for a college that aims at educating engineers who should contribute to the technological and economic development of the nation.

A women’s Engineering College in Chinnasalem tried romantic vocabulary in its website and managed to insult women.

“Until a decade the Congregation had been concentrated mainly on imparting basic education to women, as it was its crucial need. But the rapid progress in human civilization, science and technology necessitated the Congregation to provide higher education to the womenfolk as they were still found in miseries and lurch”.

A young student who was browsing through this website shrieked “Yikes! Makes me cringe. It sets Feminism back a few years, doesn’t it?” And she is not off the mark.

A website of a college in Seethaparpanalur describes itself as the ‘Best College’. Its description says, “The college maintains a royal existence with its marvellous infrastructure and widely acclaimed for its meticulous planning, resource scheduling and institutional management” To make this worse, this statement is repeated twice. Scrolling down, is the stunning quality policy:

“The Institution Commits To Offer Quality Professional Education In Pace With Latest Technology. The Institution Aims at Academic Excellence And Overall Development Of Students. The Institution Within The Framework Of The Quality Policy Identifies Quality Objectives And Will Strive for continual Improvement. The Institution Will review The Quality Policy For Continued compliance.”

It is really a bad day for grammar.

Here’s a note for people who write these declarations- Capitalizing each word and spelling marvelous with two ‘l’s don’t make you smart! Oh, someone must also declare a prize for those who can count the number of times the word ‘quality’ and ‘Institution’ is found here.

One can have a bout of laughter as one scrolls across to Kancheepuram and its Engineering college website. It describes the college thus “…has its own version of infrastructures and facilities, which include a terrific campus and well skilled lecturers… Let the hard work payoff”.

This high-flung statement ends in a note that leaves you scratching your head in confusion.

It continues to be tasteless as it states its main objective is to ‘provide education to rural area students’ but includes in its salient features that it ‘transforms academically mediocre students into competent scholars’. But, it continues to be funny as it also includes ‘high speed internet facilities with band with speed of 2MBPS’. Side note: 2MBPS is not high speed!

When such educational institutions display their level of incompetence unabashedly, it is hard to consider them as places committed to academic and professional excellence and centres that encourage high quality of research.

And to those who join the institute, Covai Post can only wish them good luck with college life, and academics and hope that they indeed become a fraction of a successful person they promise to turn an entrant into.

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