Arunachal Pradesh, India

The Indian Army's Eastern Command has set up an advanced training centre to teach its soldiers Mandarin to effectively deal with trespassing Chinese soldiers while patrolling the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Instances of Chinese troops entering the Indian territory are a regular feature at the borders over which the two countries had also fought a war in 1962.

Read: India is playing with fire, says China's Global Times

The centre has been set up in Panagarh, West Bengal, which is the headquarters of 17 Mountain Strike Corps and will be teaching them the Chinese language, Mail Today quoted Army officials as saying.

This training will enable the jawans to successfully communicate with their Chinese counterparts during patrolling operations.

The new facility will train 125 soldiers every year and the courses jhave been designed to teach Chinese or Putonghua. Moreover, many soldiers who learnt the language have forgotten by the time they were posted. Chinese is one of the toughest language to learn and requires regular practice.

The army's Eastern Command is in charge of the LAC that runs from Sikkim to Arunachal Pradesh and this has made the soldiers' learning the Chinese language all the more important. The Eastern Command's responsibility at the borders has increased all the more since the Chinese do not accept Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India, thus requiring more engagement both at the grassroots and higher levels. Learning the neighbouring country's language could make the scope for confrontation lesser. Moreover, besides communicating with their Chinese counterparts, the soldiers can also chip in as interpreters at high-level talks.

The army has sought help from institutions like Visva-Bharati University (VBU) in Santiniketan, Bengal, to help it in its effort to learn the Chinese language. While the candidates will be able to learn the language using the Sanako software, they will also get access to a library of Chinese books and television channels to have a facilitate their endeavour.

The syllabus of the language course has been well-researched and certified by Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University besides VBU.

Army authorities believe the new training centre will eventually evolve into a centre of excellence for learning the Chinese language. The entire Eastern Command will be able to make us of this training facility.