When it comes to security of the country's borders, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) wants to leave no stone unturned and has now geared up to even break the language barrier with their Chinese counterparts.
With this aim, around 25 jawans and officials of the ITBP will take up a one-year certificate course in the Chinese language at the Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies in Madhya Pradesh's Raisen district.
The university's registrar, Rajesh Gupta, feels the step would be helpful for the ITBP, which has to deal with the Chinese-speaking people along the Sino-India border.
Two ITBP inspectors and as many jawans have already completed the course and are currently posted at the borders.
Now, more personnel of the force have been inspired to learn the Chinese language at the university, which is located around 12 kms from the UNESCO world heritage site of the Sanchi Stupa - the hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of Buddha.
"In the academic session 2016-17, four ITBP personnel had completed the one-year certificate course in the Chinese language. Subsequently, they have been performing their duties at the borders," Gupta told PTI.
Inspired by the skills developed in the foreign language by the first batch, now 25 more ITBP jawans and officials have enrolled for the certificate course, he said.
"We have got the list of the personnel who will take up the course in the university from July," Gupta said.
"Our course is designed as per the needs of the ITBP. Besides learning the Chinese language, the course also provides them an insight into the Buddhism religion," he said.
He said this will help the ITBP personnel in communicating with the followers of Buddhism residing in the Sino-India border region.
The course books are in three languages - Hindi, English and Chinese - so that students can understand and grasp the text easily.
"We have used pictures and same sentences in three languages to make them understand the Chinese language easily. There are several villages along the border in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir where the Chinese- speaking followers of Buddhism live," he said.
The university, founded in 2012, started the Chinese language certificate course from the 2016-17 academic session.
In the 2017-18 academic session, the institution has also started a diploma course for those who have already completed the certificate course.
"We will soon start an advance course in the Chinese language," Gupta said, claiming that the university is the only institution in Central India where the Chinese language is being taught to the ITBP personnel.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi and the Tezpur University in Assam also have courses in the Chinese language for the ITBP jawans and officials, he added.