After his move to make Urdu compulsory in undergraduate courses at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) kicked up a row,Vice-Chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah has refuted charges of language politics in the university.
He said the decision was meant to improve academic standards and induce seriousness of purpose among students. In a statement,Shah said: AMU takes pride in fostering a pluralistic ethos of our multilingual,secular country. Both Hindi and Urdu are taught to first-year undergraduate students pursuing BA,B Sc and B Com. Those students who studied Hindi as a subject in class XII have to opt for Urdu while those who had Urdu have to opt for Hindi.
He defended his decision on grounds that despite being compulsory,these subjects were not taken seriously by students as neither the attendance nor the marks were counted in the aggregate. To make students take these subjects seriously,the recent decision stipulates that both attendance and marks be counted. The modalities of the same are being worked out, he said.
Starting academic session 2013-14,AMU has made Urdu paper compulsory for undergraduate students. A minimum of 75 per cent attendance has been made mandatory for Urdu class. Also,if a student failed to clear Urdu paper in first two years,he would not be awarded his graduation degree.