Higher Education

Higher Education

JNU set to propose compulsory Hindi for UG

PUBLISH DATE 25th June 2019

The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration, in its upcoming Academic Council meeting scheduled on June 28, will propose an agenda to make Hindi a compulsory subject for undergraduate courses in the university — a move that has invited criticism from both student and teacher bodies.

The proposal, also in Hindi, states that this is in response to an earlier letter sent to the JNU V-C in October 2018 from the University Grants Commission (UGC) informing him that the MHRD had asked that the “national language” Hindi be made compulsory in all schools and colleges, and asked the V-C to send an action taken report in this regard.

In JNU, the undergraduate courses are either B.Tech or BA language courses such as Arabic, French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, German, Persian, Pashto and Korean.

JNU Rector Chintamani Mahapatra said, “No such decision has been taken.” He did not respond to further queries. JNUSU representatives have also been called by the administration to attend Friday’s meeting, after not being sent an invite for successive AC meetings citing disciplinary cases against them.

The JNU Students’ Union asked that the agenda item be dropped. JNUSU president N Sai Balaji said, “It must be reiterated that India does not have a national language. Rather, the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India lists 22 official languages in accordance with the diverse and plural nature of our country…This is an affront and violation not only of the plural nature of JNU, but also of the principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution.”

JNU Teachers’ Association secretary Avinash Kumar said: “The administration may say it’s only at proposal stage, but going by precedents, everything proposed in the AC meeting is passed as it is. Moreover, when the country is debating the language issue, introducing such an agenda making Hindi mandatory is unfortunate…”

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