Union HRD MInistry has constituted a Sub-Committee on Promotion of Urdu Language and Enhancement of Compatibility amongst Minorities through Knowledge of English. It has submitted its report to the HRD Minister Dr M M Pallam Raju in New Delhi on Thursday, December 19, 2013. The Sub-Committee was set up with Prof Akhtarul Wasey as Chairman in April 2012 by the Minister who is also Chairman of National Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education.Urdu, it may be reaclled here is J&K’s official languge. The major recommendations of the committee are reproduced here.
(1) The Sub-Committee has recommended the setting up of a monitoring committee of experts to ensure the implementation of programmes related to promotion of Urdu in the light of the recommendations of the Sub-Committee and other proposals that might come up as an offshoot of these recommendations. The proposed Committee should comprise Principals of Urdu-medium schools and 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.
(2) A database of the institutions responsible for training Urdu teachers should be developed.
(3) None of the schools run by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan in the country provide Urdu education due to the condition of minimum of 15 students for providing such as a facility. 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.
(4) Urdu should be introduced as a subject in the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas as well as Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas.
(5) Urdu-medium schools should be granted a 5 per cent exemption and a quota for admission to government colleges.
(6) Students having training to teach Urdu as a subject and not teaching through Urdu as a medium should also be provided the required training. This would include madrasa pass-outs. A teacher-training diploma course should be introduced for the madrasa pass-outs and the diploma in Madrasa Teacher Education (MTE) be made at par with the Diploma in Elementary Teacher Education (ETE).
(7) It is unfortunate that Urdu medium schools cannot be opened in Uttar Pradesh and many other states because they have some legal provisions that make the use of the official language of the state mandatory as medium of instruction and examination. Therefore, the government may formulate such laws that may allow the state governments to establish Urdu-medium educational institutions and conduct examinations in Urdu language in Uttar Pradesh and such other states.
(8) There should be transparency in implementing the three language formula. Urdu has been practically ousted from the category of modern Indian languages, depriving the students aspiring to learn Urdu of any such chance and forcing them to learn some other language in place of Urdu.
(9) Knowledge of Urdu must be made compulsory for administrative and semi-academic staff in every institution meant for education, teaching, promotion and propagation of Urdu such as Maulana Azad National Urdu University and National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language.
(10) The system of Distance Education can very effectively be used for teaching Urdu to certain sections of the population, particularly women, who cannot join regular schools for their education. The Aligarh-based institution, Jamia Urdu, has performed a pioneering role in this field in its 75 years of existence. It should be accorded the status of a deemed university.
(11) (i) There is an 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. Inculcation of English language skills will, therefore, go a long way in contributing to the establishment of an inclusive society which is marked by literacy and awareness.
(ii) A Monitoring Committee to be formed to take care of the academic and administrative aspects of English-Language Courses.
(iii) Special emphasis should be laid on communicative strategies of teaching that would revolve around listening, reading, writing and speaking skills in English.
(12) The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) is doing some excellent work in various ways to achieve this objective. The following activities should be added to its programmes: (i) Introduction of translation courses.
(ii) Adding more CABA – MDTP and Urdu Centres in different parts of the country, particularly in districts and blocks with substantial Urdu-speaking population.
(iii) Instituting a National Register of trained Urdu teachers
(iv) Promoting use of digital media in the field of Urdu.
(v) Development of Urdu softwares.
(vi) The NCPUL budget allocation needs to be raised to Rs. 100 crores. Additional infrastructure should be provided for storage of publications.
(13) The rules for the minimum qualification of B.Ed. or TTE-trained Urdu teachers should be amended for madrasa pass-outs as they have only one qualifying certificate at par with certificates of 10th and 12th classes, so that they may also qualify for training as Urdu teachers.
(14) 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.