Due to the authorities indifferent attitude,language departments at the Panjab University are suffering,with most of them facing staff crunch.
To begin with,the Department of Urdu,which runs advance diploma,certificate course,diploma course and masters,has only one teacher,Dr Zareen Fatimah. Employed on a contract basis,Fatimah teaches over 100 students enrolled in all the courses,having a total of 145 seats.
Earlier,the masters course used to have 70 seats that remained all filled,but with the passage of time,the varsity reduced the number of seats to 30. As per the office records,around 20 students take admission in MA Urdu,but only 10 take examination.
The Department of Urdu was one of the major departments in the pre-Partition time of the then University of Punjab,Lahore,which was founded in 1882. However,now it is one of the most ignored departments.
At times there used to be 11 teachers at this department. However,with the retirement of faculty members,the strength has come down to just one teacher. In the past few years,the varsity has advertised one post five times. Every time the varsity receives applications,it screens the candidates,but nothing happens beyond that.
Earlier,MA was based on the annual system but now with the introduction of the semester system,teaching has become a little hectic. Despite all odds,I complete the syllabus and sometimes I remain at the department till 8 pm. We are here to teach and so I am doing my job, said Dr Fatimah
Chairperson of Urdu and Persian Departments Madhukar Arya said,The former Vice-Chancellors were not at all interested in filling the posts at the Urdu and Persian departments. Despite the fact that screening of one post for appointing a faculty member at Urdu Department was done five times,the authorities quashed the process.
The condition of Persian Department is also similar. Prof Arya is the only teacher teaching Persian to students. The Persian Department also runs all the courses,including advance diploma,certificate course and diploma course. Even Persian Department needs one more faculty member as one post is lying vacant. This department used to have three posts,but one was transferred to Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, added Prof Arya.
The Department of Persian has over 45 students in all the courses against 50 seats.
Both the departments lack infrastructural facilities and have been allotted two rooms at the University Institute of Chemical Engineering Engineering.
The Department of Sanskrit also shares the same fate. There used to be 22 teachers at the department,but at present,it has only two faculty members. For the past few years,the department has been getting just 30 students against the sanctioned 60 seats. Ten years back,the department used to have 60 students.
The Department of German has one vacant post for several years,so has the Department of Chinese and Tibetan Studies.
Significantly,the Department of South Indian Studies no longer exists.
However,PU Registrar A K Bhandari said,Soon we are starting recruitment to fill all the posts.
On the Department of South Indian Studies,he said we did not recruit teachers as the varsity did not get any demand for these languages in the recent past.