The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has come out with a plan to make learning the Chinese language, i.e both Mandarin and the version of the language that is spoken in Tibet, compulsory for jawans
Apparently to boost the local intelligence and avoid misunderstandings following the longest standoff in Doklam between Indian and Chinese forces, the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has come out with a plan to make learning the Chinese language, i.e both Mandarin and the version of the language that is spoken in Tibet, compulsory for jawans. A senior ITBP officer has said, “This year onward, learning of the language has been made part of the one-year training course for recruits,” as per Indian Express. The ITBP is the only force fully deployed on the China border which is 3,488 km long.
The officer said,”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,” he said. As per the current figures, only about 150 officers and men in the 90,000-strong force know the language. The officers had learned the language during their mid-career training programmes held at Army training academies or at the Jawaharlal Nehru University
It is learnt that the move is aimed to make the entire force have a workable knowledge of the language so that they can communicate with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers. “A verbal communication has a more personal feel and helps in defusing tension. At least fist-fights and stone-pelting, as witnessed recently in Pangong Tso, can be avoided. It will also help in building relations at the ground level,” an officer said to IE.
According to IE sources, ITBP has recruited 12 teachers for the purpose at its training academy in Mussoorie. The ITBP officer said, “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,” as per the report.