DU Hindi medium students miss books

DU Hindi medium students miss books

Stress before exams is a given but imagine the plight of a student who doesn’t even have textbooks to prepare from! This is the situation of students pursuing graduation in Hindi medium through Delhi University.

With exams due in November, books in Hindi are severely lacking. Though the varsity has been facing this problem for several years, teachers are feeling even more pressurised now with the implementation of the semester system. While earlier, they had an year’s time to coach students weak in English, now they have barely three to four months before each semester exam.

DU gives its Humanities stream students the option of giving exams in Hindi. While some colleges hold separate classes, most conduct combined classes for English and Hindi medium students. Lacking books in Hindi almost always, the Hindi medium students rely largely on teachers to guide them.

Teachers inform us that the number of these students has increased phenomenally over the past few years. Tanveer Aijaz, lecturer in Political Science at Ramjas College, says, “With the rise in the quota for OBC, SC and ST students, a number of off-campus colleges being set up near NCR and many outstation students joining, the balance between English and Hindi medium students has slanted. While earlier, 75 per cent of the students preferred English as a medium of study, and only 25 per cent Hindi, the figure is running in the opposite direction now.”

“This is, however, not to say, that these students are bad. Some of them are first-time learners in their family, motivated and very intelligent. All that they need is good teachers, some time and books in Hindi.”

Books, sadly, are the main problem. Suvritta Khatri, who teaches History in Deshbandhu College, says, “It’s been 15 to 20 years since our present courses in DU were formulated. Unfortunately, very few good books, written by authoritative writers, have been translated into Hindi as promised. All that we have are kunjis – arguments from different books put together as glorified tutorials. It is especially unhelpful for students who want to pursue academics further.”

Students corroborate this complaint. Gautam Kumar, a student of Political Science, IIIrd year at Moti Lal Nehru College, says, “We see books by acclaimed foreign writers on subjects like Public Administration and International Relations but their Hindi versions are not available. While I and some of my friends are able to manage with English books, others who have very little or no knowledge of English, fall back and do badly in exams.”

The Directorate of Hindi Medium Implementation (DU), which deals in translations and textbook preparation for Hindi medium students, cites its own problems. Its chairman Ramesh Gautam says, “Translating works of known authors is not an easy task. It involves copyright issues. We have to seek permission from the writers and the publishers. Sometimes they demand the kind of money which an educational institute cannot afford.”

“Inspite of these handicaps, we are trying our best to bring out as many translations as possible. We are also preparing e-content in Hindi in association with the Institute of Lifelong Learning (ILLL) for tech-savvy Hindi medium students. Hopefully, this should provide some relief to them.” Meanwhile, the semester exams loom large.

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