January 28, 2009 12:51:59 am
The maximum takers for free Indian language courses run by Gujarat Vidyapeeth is Urdu,followed by Sanskrit and South Indian languages.
Vidyapeeth officials admit that the majority who opt for South Indian languages are the ones who have settled in Gujarat away from their home state.
As for Urdu,students come to learn it in a bid to understand sher-o-shayari (poetry),which is increasingly becoming popular in the wake of telecast of mushairas (Urdu poetry recitation) by different channels,said Prof Amba Shankar Nagar,the director of Bharatiya Bhasha Sansthan.
According to him,Sanskrit is mainly studied by Gujaratis to understand the cultural and religious literature in this ancient Indian language,while Hindi and Gujarati courses are generally learnt by foreigners.
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As per available figures,maximum students attended Urdu language courses (579),followed by Sanskrit (566),Marathi (366),Bengali (342) and Punjabi (121). The major beneficiaries among the South Indian languages have been Tamil with a total of 381 students followed by Malayalam (329),Kannada (122) and Telugu (69). The least number of students attended Sindhi (10) and Hindi (21) courses.
Kashmiri is not taught anymore,as there has been no response for this language.
The new academic session begins from February 1.
Prof Nagar said in the eighties,each state government was approached for an endowment of Rs 5 lakh to arrange for facilities for teaching the language of their respective states. The move was aimed at national unity. The state government agreed to the recommendations of the then Vice-Chancellor,Prof Ramlal Parikh,an influential academic,and deposited the endowment money with the Vidyapeeth. Since then,the interest accruing from the endowment money is being used for financing the teaching of different languages.
But with the costs going up,the interest income is proving quite insufficient to meet the increasing expenditure, he added.
Prof Nagar said though the Vidyapeeth is somehow managing it,but to continue the courses,the states will either have to contribute more to the endowment fund or the Vidyapeeth will have to find new sources of income.
Incidentally,though the courses have been running since 1985,the details of students availing the facility are not available between 1985 and 1993. The figures available from 1994 onwards show that a total of 3,237 students benefited from the courses so far.
Vidyapeeth authorities further said that majority of the students are those who come to learn South Indian languages.
They are mostly the children of South Indians working in Ahmedabad in the public and private sectors. As there is little facility for them to learn their mother tongue,they flock to the Vidyapeeth to learn the language in a bid to remain linguistically and culturally connected to their parent state.
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