Amid India China Doklam standoff, ITBP makes Mandarin must for new recruits

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New Delhi | Updated: August 29, 2017 10:20:47 AM

Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has decided the new recruits must have a good command of Chinese language.

itbp, indo tibetan border police, mandarin, chinese language, indian border troops, INDIA, CHINA, DOKLAM, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has decided the new recruits must have a good command of Chinese language. (IE image)

Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has decided the new recruits must have a good command of Chinese language. New recruits have to learn Chinese language — both Mandarin and the version of the language that is spoken in Tibet- during the training period, according to Indian Express report. “This year onward, learning of the language has been made part of the one-year training course for recruits,” said a senior ITBP officer. The aim behind the decision was that the entire force must have a workable knowledge of the language so that they can communicate with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers without difficulty. Yesterday, reports were that India and China mutually agreed to end their over two-month-long standoff at Doklam. China, however, asserted its soldiers would continue to patrol the area and claimed India had withdrawn its troops yesterday.

“We are a force fully deployed on the border with China. It is only prudent that every personnel should know the language. We interact with Chinese soldiers almost on a daily basis. A good knowledge of their language may help avoid misunderstandings and lead to better resolution of confrontations that arise out of ground zero developments,” an officer was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

90,000-strong force guards the 3,488 km-long India-China border but only 150 officers among them have know the language. It has been learnt that most of these officers go throug a mid-career training programmes held at Army training academies or at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

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According to reports the ITBP has already recruited 12 teachers for the purpose at its training academy in Mussoorie. The recruits will have to pass tests in the language, before they are deployed. “Those who get trained in the language will also go through refresher courses later, and will be used to train others in the units. Currently, those who know the language can barely speak 10 sentences. The idea is to help them hold a conversation, with proficiency in 50-60 sentences that they can use for an interaction with the Chinese. Eventually, the entire force will have a working knowledge of the language,” the officer was quoted as saying by IE.

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