HC Deb 13 April 1965 vol 710 cc1139-40
9. Mr. Jackson

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what plans she has for further assistance to the Government of India in the field of English language instruction; and to what extent these have been affected by the recent linguistic disturbances in India.

37. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Minister of Overseas Development whether she will give additional assistance to the programme of instruction in English language teaching for India.

Mr. Oram

Assistance to the Government of India is given in this field, as in others, at the request of the Indian Government. Through the British Council we are successfully meeting the substan- tial requests which have been made for our help.

Mr. Jackson

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind in his discussions with the Indian Ministry of Education concerning the supply of English teachers to India that there is greater need in the smaller universities away from the big centres than in universities like Delhi, which already have a good standard of knowledge of English?

Mr. Oram

I thank my hon. Friend for calling attention to that point, which I regard as important.

Mr. Goodhart

Does the Parliamentary Secretary recognise that even if the number of trained linguistic teachers in India is doubled within the next few years, there will still be less than one for every 15 million of the population and that the best chance of maintaining English is to bring television into use as quickly as possible?

Mr. Oram

We recognise, of course, that this is a drop in a vast ocean. There is a later Question on the Order Paper concerning the support that we are giving for television for teaching overseas. I think that, in a small part at least, the point that the hon. Member has in mind will be met.

Mr. R. Carr

The later Question refers to what we are doing through an organisation in this country. Can the Minister say whether we are ready to give the Indian Government any help in establishing their own television services, which might help in this direction?

Mr. Oram

The Centre for Television, to which we are making a grant, is in touch with overseas Governments. Certainly, its services are available to the Indian Government and other overseas Governments.