If you are planning to enrol for any undergraduate course at Jamia Millia Islamia here, be prepared to learn Urdu as the university will be making the language a compulsory subject for all undergraduate courses without exception from 2013.

“We arrived at this decision keeping the heritage of Jamia in mind as well as the rekindled interest in Urdu,” said Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor Najeeb Jung on Thursday, adding that the course would be taught over two years and that there would be credits involved.

“At the end of two years, we would like the student to at least know how to read film titles in Urdu if not read Urdu literature,” joked Mr. Jung. He said the course would also include Urdu ethics and philosophy and that the professional courses like engineering, law and architecture would be exempted from this rule.

On the other hand, postgraduate scholars who have enrolled for languages like Hindi, Persian and Urdu among others will have to also learn English, with credits in the subject to be counted in their degree. “This is because the current job market demands English speakers and the reality is that English is the way to connect the world over,” he added.

Another thing Jamia is keenly looking to introduce is a public health course under the meta-university concept that it has going with Delhi University for mathematics at present. Mr. Jung said they need faculty for this and the ideal situation would be to include other universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University and Indian Institute of Technology under the meta concept.