The Delhi University (DU) is considering putting a cap on the number of students, in a college, who can opt for any Modern Indian language (MIL) as an optional subject at the undergraduate level. The proposed move is reportedly aimed at ensuring equal distribution of students in these languages across all colleges.

Colleges across the university offer Modern Indian languages including Sanskrit, Punjabi, Urdu, Telugu, Bengali and Tamil, as optional subjects to the students enrolled in BA (programme ) and B.Com (programme) courses. MILs are offered as an option in the core courses category under the existing choice based credit system (CBCS). If opted, it’s compulsory for students to study MIL as a core course in the first two years of BA/B.Com(programmes).

The standing committee of the DU’s academic council (AC) has recommended putting a 10% cap on the number of students a college to study a language as an optional subject against its sanctioned strength of BA/B.Com(programme) courses. “There have been instances when the colleges have enrolled all students (who opted to study a language) in one language or two. For instance, in some colleges, the majority of their B.A./B. Com(programme) students have opted for Punjabi, Sanskrit or Urdu. But there should be equal distribution of students in each of these languages in every college. That’s why we have recommended putting a cap on the number of students that can be enrolled in one MIL,” Rasal Singh, member of the standing committee, said.

Around 30 colleges across DU, which have separate MIL departments, also award 4% to 10% relaxation in marks to the students who opt for languages in BA/B.Com (programe) course during admissions. The committee has also recommended having a “uniform relaxation policy” for all such colleges.

The agenda items passed by the standing committee during its meeting, last week, stated, “The admission committee felt to re-look over the eligibility criteria related to MIL recommended having a uniform policy of awarding advantages to students who wish to pursue languages in higher studies for all colleges.

Jaswinder Singh, principal, SGTB Khalsa College, said capping the number of students enrolled in one MIL should only be applicable the colleges offering more than one such languages. “There are colleges which have permanent faculty for several MILs but there are no takers for some languages. Thus, capping can work only in such cases,” he said.

SGTB Khalsa only offers Punjabi among languages, as an optional subject to the students enrolled in BA (programme) and BCom (programme) courses. Earlier, the college offered Urdu as well.

“Since there were no takers and the faculty members also retired the college stopped offering it now,” Singh said.

A member of the standing committee, who did not wish to be named, said, “This has happened in many colleges, they have stopped offering many languages eventually. The idea behind fixing the number of enrolments is to encourage regular admissions in all languages.”

Reported by Hindustan Times

~Preksha Mishra

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