Upgradation – there is no such word

Finextra reported on a Reserve Bank of India document that says in part,:

The working group further goes on to recommend that the RBI “consider moving over to chip based cards along with requiring upgradation of necessary infrastructure like ATMs/POS terminals in this regard in a phased manner”.

The RBI is not by any means the first Indian entity to use this clumsy word. It isn’t in any English dictionary. The correct word is “upgrade” (noun). Of course, the document is full of other errors. The above paragraph can be written as follows:

“consider moving over to chipbased cards, along with an upgrade to the related infrastructure such as ATMs/POS terminals in a phased manner”.

Generally, most Times of India posts attributed to “TNN” show signs of poor English. Here are some posts that persist in using “upgradation”

2 comments on “Upgradation – there is no such word

  1. Isn’t English the official second language in India? Why do they have so many spelling errors? I work with a team of people that live in India, and their English is bad. When I have to talk to them on IM, and it’s a challenge to understand what they are trying to say, they are very informal at writing on IM, constantly using ‘u’ instead ‘you’ and making the most common mistakes… I really don’t understand why their english is so poor when English is an official language like in Canada.

  2. There are many reasons for the poor quality of English in India. At a high level, it reflects the education path their parents had to choose for them. You can study entirely in English from Kindergarten to university, or you can study in your local language but take English as a second language a few years later. The latter group would not have the same command over the language as the first.

    Many Indians use a local language for informal communication with friends and at home, so there are few opportunities to pick up good quality English. A lot of so-called “Indian English” is simply bad grammar and ignorance.

    When the leading Indian newspaper, The Times of India, continues to publish poorly written news reports, the readers can hardly be blamed for repeating what they see, for example the topic of this post – “upgradation”. Only Indians use this word, just as they use “upto”. They don’t care what others think, as most of them are not writing professionally or for a global audience.

    The SMS-speak you have seen is decreasing, thank goodness. Many people now in their twenties grew up with mobile phones and US TV, so they continue to use words such as “ur” or “u” in formal writing. Sometime in the last 20 years, Indian mums disappeared and were replaced by moms. So we have a hodge-podge of broken English, English mixed with American and the local language for good measure.

    Indian languages allow you to speak a given sentence in several variations, all of which are comprehensible. There is more tolerance for a lack of formal grammar in those languages — can’t recall ever hearing someone being chastised for speaking Bombay-Hindi (which is terrible). When this variance is attempted in spoken English, it is easier to break grammar rules.

    India’s economic emergence has given a further sense of national pride, which will reduce the care factor about the quality of their English.

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