Thursday, July 4, 2013

Save Punjabi

Save Punjabi as Subject of Study in the Colleges of Delhi
Delhi University has recently introduced a new Four Year Undergraduate Program (FYUP). Under this Program only three colleges of Delhi University are eligible to offer Punjabi from first year as DC-I (major subject).Inother 13 or 14 colleges of Delhi,Punjabi (including Urdu and other Indian languages) will be taught as a minor subjectonly from the second year of admission (Under so called DC-II). In other words there is no provision for Punjabi students to be admitted to this subject in the first year of admission because the University has clearly specified that the admissions will be made on the basis of Discipline I only. The other colleges where Punjabi was being offered as Compulsory Subject of M.I.L from the first year, have been denied to offer Punjabi as DC-I. It means that there will be no admissions to the subject of Punjabi at entry level.
The argument of the DU authorities is that there is a provision of Foundation Course (Language literature and Culture in Modern Indian Languages) and Applied Course (language) in which students can opt for Punjabi in I Semester only. But the fact is that admission cannot be made on the basis of this Foundation/Applied Course. Moreover these FC/AC courses are of purely elementary level as their names suggest.
The other argument of the DU authorities is that there is a provision under this new Program for offering Punjabi as DC-II (Minor Subject) starting from third semester of the second year. Since no admission can be made on the basis of DC-II, the colleges will be left with no student offering Punjabi. Moreover, the students offering DC-II are not required to pursue the subject of their option for all the six semesters. They can change their option after three semesters. In other words Punjabi as DC-II shall remain for three semesters only which is clearly detrimental to the subject. Moreover, Punjabi as DC-II has been clubbed with other subjects like Science, Commerce and Humanities. This clubbing of Punjabi with these subjects isnot at all conducive to Punjabi as a subject. Under this scheme of things the fate of minority languages like Punjabi and Urdu hangs in balance. They will be at the receiving end, without adequate protection. As per previous practice, these languages need weightage for admission, which is being denied by the present authorities.
Before the inception of this new Course, there was a provision for Punjabi as compulsory subject and the students could offer Punjabi for all the three years. I had been associated with the teaching of Punjabi language, literature and culture in Delhi University for 40 years and have never witnessed such a threatening situation for Punjabi Studies.It never happened in the entire history of Delhi University, which has produced some of the eminent scholars and critics inthe field of Punjabi Studies, when the teaching of Punjabi was sought to be marginalized in such a manner. Therefore, under this newly introduced Program no option other than DC-I ensures proper place for Punjabi as a subject of study. All the colleges offering Punjabi should be provided this facility.
As a matter of fact Punjabi and Urdu have been accorded the status of a second language in Delhi. So the teaching and learning of these languages needs more to be encouraged rather than discouraged. Language is not merelya vehicle of communication;it is part of our cultural identity and way of life. All the regional languages represent the rich diversity of our national culture and civilization. Marginalization of these languages under the newly introduced FYUP of the Delhi Universityisa retrogressive step which needs to be opposed.All the right thinking individuals, educationists, teachers and scholars should raise their voice against this unjustified and discriminatory decision of the authorities.
The following relevant portions of the Discipline-I, Discipline-II & Applied Courses as taken from Website of the University of Delhi are given for your ready reference.
Discipline Courses-I (DC-I) (Major Subject)
Under this programme, students will have to study total 20 major subjects at a deep level for Bachelor with Honours in each course which are called Discipline Courses-I (DC-I).
Discipline Courses-II (DC-II) (Minor Subject)
In the 4 Year Undergraduate Programme, students will have to choose total 6 minor subjects of their liking for additional knowledge and building their competencies outside their main subjects of study. These subjects are called Discipline Courses-II (DC-II). This offers a wide variety of courses as minor subjects those will help the students to learn about the national and global scenario of interdisciplinary mode and enhance their knowledge for getting employment or initiating for self-employment and allied areas.
Applied Courses (AC)
Students will have to choose total 4 skill based subjects that will give practical knowledge which are called Applied Courses (AC). The outcomes of these applied courses are very useful for producing well trained manpower on the one hand and getting employment or initiating for self-employment in the concerned subject area and allied areas on the other.

Note: All the students are required to take all the papers of Foundation Courses & IMBH, Discipline Courses-I and all the papers of Applied Courses. In addition, they will be required to take papers from Discipline Courses-II from same subject or other than main subject. 

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