A sub-committee instituted by the HRD Ministry submitted its recommendations for the promotion of Urdu recently

The Sub-Committee on Promotion of Urdu Language and Enhancement of Compatibility amongst Minorities through Knowledge of English, chaired by Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, recently submitted its report to the Union Minister for Human Resource Development, M.M. Pallam Raju.

Raju, who is also the Chairman of ‘National Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education’ had appointed the sub-committee last year. Other members are Prof. S.R. Kidwai, Syeda Bilgrami Imam, Syed Hasan Shuja, Majid Deobandi, Khwaja Md. Ekramuddin as Special Invitee and S.K. Mohanty as Member Secretary.

It has recommended the setting up of a monitoring committee of experts to ensure the implementation of programmes related to promotion of Urdu. This should include Principals of Urdu medium schools, Urdu teachers from Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University and other institutions and some other eminent Urdu scholars, to review the ground realities. It has also suggested the development of a data-base of institutions responsible for training Urdu teachers, and the introduction of Urdu as a subject in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas as well as Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas.

Noting that none of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan schools in the country provide Urdu education due to the condition of a minimum of 20 students, the report says “Section 122 of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan Code may be suitably amended to bring down the number to 5 or 6 students as is being done in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi respectively.”

The report recognises the “urgent need for English language skills to be developed and honed amongst the underprivileged sections of society – especially the Urdu-speaking minorities in the country” and suggests measures for the inculcation of English language skills for the establishment of an inclusive society which is marked by literacy and awareness. To this effect, it suggests the forming of a monitoring committee to take care of academic and administrative aspects of English-language courses, and a special emphasis on the communicative strategies of teaching.

Recommending a five per cent exemption for Urdu-medium schools and a quota for admission to government colleges, the report observes that the system of distance education can be used to teach Urdu to certain sections of population, particularly women, who cannot join regular schools from their education. In conclusion, the report says, “Separate grants should be provided to the universities and colleges which are running Urdu journalism courses meant for producing competent Urdu journalists to be absorbed in Urdu TV news channels and radio, so that there are funds to procure necessary equipments to facilitate budding Urdu-media persons to get hands-on training.”

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