National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) will be offering Tamil as a new language option for students pursuing higher secondary examination from the institute from the next academic year in Tamil Nadu. The introduction of Tamil is measured as an initiative to bring in more number of students to pursue their courses from NIOS which is presently offering English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu. V.S. Raveendran, regional director, NIOS, said that it had been an important reason for lack of demand of NIOS in Tamil Nadu but with its introduction we hope to serve the students with the right deliverables. He said that there have also been requests to offer Tamil as a medium of instruction at the secondary level, but it is still under consideration. Of the 27 subjects offered in the NIOS syllabus, a student can choose a minimum of five subjects. “In NIOS, no language and subject is compulsory. The pass percentage is considered with at least one language and three non-language papers. The choice is up to the student,” he said. According to teachers, offering more choice would help students from a Tamil medium background and with difficulty in English study further. It was only three years back that Tamil was introduced at the secondary level. “Some find it easy to write in their mother tongue, so we have the option for students taking the exam. It would also help secondary level students continue at the higher secondary level,” said Mr. Raveendran.