DU Hindi medium students lack study material

Available Hindi books are written in difficult language, finding translators is a problem

Many Hindi medium students studying in Delhi University struggle to finish their courses because of lack of reading material and reference books in Hindi and the classes held are mainly in English.

“In the undergraduate (UG) courses, there is still some study material for us which is in Hindi. But postgraduation (PG) becomes a daunting task. Most of the books listed by the teachers are in English, and since they have to adhere to PG standards, the language is beyond the understanding for Hindi medium students. Due to this, most of the students get less marks even if they are bright in their language,” said Sameer Chaturvedi of MA Sociology, studying in Delhi School of Economics (DSE).

In the mainstream

Chaturvedi studied in a Hindi medium school but opted to write his exams in English as he wanted to be in the ‘mainstream’. With the help of friends and seniors, he was able to finish his UG with passing marks.

“Till my third semester, I was struggling to understand just the basics of my subjects. The teachers assume that at the PG level, students are self dependent. We are left with no option but to read from tutorials given by our seniors.

“But this is not enough. How can we become research scholars with such limited amount of intellectual growth due to paucity of Hindi reference books?

“It is already tough to break so many barriers to reach where we have reached. What are we asking for? Just give us books, we want to study more,” said Vijay Sinha student of MA History.

With implementation of the semester system in all UG courses in 2011, many Hindi medium students struggled in exams, many thought of dropping out or joining easier UG course, like BA Programme instead of an Honours degree.

Semester system

“In the semester system, every three months new papers are taught. That gives less time to the Hindi medium students to even grasp some ideas.

“Initially,  the studentsat least had a year to study same papers, so they pushed themselves to pass. Students come to me and say they want to opt out of the course or try something else,” said Prof Irsh Mishra, Political Science in Hindu College.

According to Director, Directorate of Hindi Medium Implementation of DU, Dr Asha Gupta, problem has recently spiraled with more Hindi medium students joining the university.

“There is an increase in the number of students in the reserved category as the seats have increased. We are not getting teachers who will teach in Hindi. Till now in the social sciences courses, we have some 200 titles of Hindi reference books. We have just two to three academic staff who can write the adapted versions of important books,” Gupta said.

While Gupta agrees that there is shortage of study material printed in Hindi, she finds it hard to overcome it.

“Most of the reference books have international authors. Photostat copies of the English books are available. The problem is that we cannot translate books in Hindi without the translation right being given by the author. Now, that gets expensive,” she said.

Moreover, keeping in mind the affordability of books, not much can be paid to the translator also.

“Finding a translator on minimal rates is again a roadblock,” added Gupta.
As per Gupta, their are some  important books, which are also in Hindi like Harold Laski’'s ‘The State in Theory and Practice’ for Political Science, but they are lying in the libraries covered with dirt.

“These books are written in very difficult Hindi. We need experts in subject and language who can adapt the books from their literal translation,” she said.

According to Gupta, 70 per cent of students in most of the social sciences courses are from Hindi medium.

A senior official at varsity said they are aware of the problem and are discussing it.
Students hope that problem would be solved as soon as possible.
 

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