With the introduction of the choice-based credit system (CBCS) this year in Delhi University, which made Hindi an optional course for the first time, teachers of the language were concerned that their workload would reduce due to insufficient demand for the course.
Now, three months after its implementation, their apprehensions seem to have been realised as there have been very few takers for the language.
Perturbed by the dwindling number of students opting for Hindi, Ravi Sharma, a teacher from Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) has petitioned the Human Resource Development ministry to make the language compulsory again.
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The petition, which has already been signed by over 100 teachers, has also been sent to the Visitor, President Pranab Mukherjee.
“Under previous systems, Hindi was compulsory. However, this year not a single first-year student has opted for Hindi at SRCC,” he said.
“Students of BA (Prog) studied Hindi for three years, while those enrolled in honours programmes in Commerce and Humanities studied it for at least one year,” Sharma said.
DU, which had a two-language formula earlier, has now asked students to choose between a Modern Indian Language, which includes Hindi, and English as part of the Ability Enhancement Course (AEC).
“On the one hand, the government encourages the celebration of Hindi week and on the other hand this is the condition of the language. This way it’ll extinguish soon because no one will be opting for it,” said Pragya Rohini, a Hindi professor at Kirori Mal College.
Another teacher at the college said, “Students have always shown little interest in Hindi. But, the situation is worse now since the choice is now in the hands of students.”
Ad-hoc teachers said the move had adversely affected their workload, with their jobs coming under threat. “Many of us are worried. Due to very few takers, our workload has greatly reduced. What kind of nationalist government is this, which screams about promoting indigenous languages, but then treats Hindi this way,” said an ad-hoc teacher from an off-campus college. (with PTI inputs)