Bangla is the medium of instruction at the primary level in most of the government schools. In some non-governmental schools, English is used as the medium of instruction instead of Bangla. According to the 1971 census the following states have Bangla as the teaching medium in the primary schools. These states constitute West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Tripura. More than 6.7 million pupils receive education from such schools. On the primary level Bangla is also taught as a subject.
On the secondary level, Bangla is used as a medium of instruction and also taught as a subject in all government schools. There are also private schools where Bangla is taught as a subject but not used as a medium of instruction. It is English which is considered as a medium of instruction in those schools.
Bangla is mainly used as a medium of instruction at the college level. But for the study of 'honours' which include study of science, technology, Engineering and medicine, English is used as the medium of instruction instead of Bangla . At the undergraduate level Bangla is taught as the subject of Honours and as a elective subject.
At the university level both English and Bangla are used as the medium of instruction, especially, in the Humanities stream, but in cases of science and technology, English is used more than Bangla. Bangla as a subject is taught at the post-graduate level.
As regards professional courses like medical, technical, engineering, management, accountancy, etc, English
is used as the teaching medium of instruction.
Telecasting in Bangla started in Kolkata in 1975. In 1981, Bangla telecasting was done for about three -four hours a day. But now, various Channels like alpha Bangla, ETV Bangla, dd-7, Akash Bangla, Ekhon Bangla, etc. telecast programs in Bangla for twenty four hours.
According to the 1971 census, Bangla movie productions were quite rich. The census reports about 1, 576 feature films and 4, 681 short films produced in Bangla.
There is a good deal of the use of Bangla in the radio. Bangla broadcasting from kolkota is for about 632 hours, 33 mins. monthly; 67 hours 17 mins. monthly from siliguri (W.B.); 10 hours 50 mins. monthly from kur seong; 225 hours monthly from Silcher (Assam); 221 hours 30 mins. monthly from Agartala (Tripura). The 1971 census also reports that there are 134 stations outside India which broadcast programs in Bangla. In the field of cassette-tape-recording Bangla productions are quite large. About 700 records and 13, 274 cassettes have been produced in Bangla, which are mostly done by All India Radio.
According to India 2002 -A Reference annual, there are 2, 643 Bangla newspapers. Out of these, 99 are dailies, 15 Tri/ Bi Weeklies, 618 Weeklies, 527 Fortnightlies, 710 monthlies, 477 quarterlies, 179 Bimonthly or Half yearly and 18 Annuals. The widely circulated Bangla newspapers are- Anandabagar Patrika, Bartaman, etc.
According to the Directory of periodicals published in India 2000, there are approximately 48 periodicals or magazines in Bangla that are widely circulated. Some of them are -Desh, Jijna*sa, Anandmela, Ekush Satak, Samatat, Paschimbanga, Manorama, Parichaya, lokasruti, Siksadarpan, Sananda, Alokpat, Ekak, Nabakallol, Kabitar kagoj and Amake bolte dao.
According to the West Bengal official Language Act (1961) Bangla was declared to be the official language of Bengal. The use of the Bangla language in various administrative domains, whether spoken or written, is similar to the other major regional languages of India.
At the state level the use of Bangla is frequent. In the field of administration, English continues to be used along with Bangla.
The use of Bangla is found to be almost universal at the district level where the local government functions.
In the administrative words like noting and drafting on files, advertisements, etc. Bangla is used at taluk and Block levels. In respect to the public information at block level, Bangla is used, except in Darjeeling, Kurseong, kalimpong sub divisions of the Darjeeling district (where Nepali is used) and in Islampur, Asansol subdivisions (where Urdu is used).
Bangla is widely used in the field of administration at the village panchayat level.
The use of Bangla is restricted across the state in the field of administration.
At the administrative level of the national government the use of Bangla is restricted to internal verbal exchanges. In the parliament, however, the Bangla native speakers like other regional language speakers are permitted to speak in Bangla.
The use of Bangla in the field of administration across the nation is only evident in Bangladesh where Bangla is considered to be the national language of the country. Except this, there is no scope of using Bangla across the nation, especially in the field of administration.
In the lower courts, Bangla is used restrictedly for the purpose of giving verbal evidence (translated in English through interpreters) for the cases placed on the High courts.
In the lower courts of the district level the use of Bangla is found to be frequent or occasional.
At the taluk level Bangla is used widely for judiciary purpose.
According to the 1971 census, bills and acts were passed in English at the lower levels. But now-a-days efforts are being taken for introducing Bangla at the higher state level bills and acts are issued only in English. Sometimes Bangla is also used, but facilities for simultaneous translation are not provided everytime.
The use of Bangla is found to be frequent in meetings, verbal exchanges, debates, public addresses and discussions in the legislature, but this is occasional in written correspondences.
Reports in the legislature are issued in English and not in Bangla.
Use of Bangla is restricted on the professional level of science and Technology. English still continues to be in the dominant position in this field.
Bangla is used as a medium of instruction and as a subject up to the graduation level. According to the 1971 census, 80% of all the institutions use Bangla as a teaching medium up to the degree level. But use of Bangla in science and technology is restricted. Though English is used as a medium of instruction, for the sake of explanation Bangla is used.
At the primary and secondary stages of the school level Bangla is used as a medium of instruction (though equivalent terms in English are also used for understanding) and as a subject in all government schools and in some non- government schools also. There are some private schools where English is used as the medium of instruction and Bangla is taught as a subject.
Copyright CIIL-India Mysore