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Don't ignore Hindi medium students: court

The Delhi HC asks the Delhi University not to ignore students who have opted Hindi as a medium of instruction. Harish V Nair reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 04, 2008 22:46 IST

The Delhi High Court has asked the Delhi University not to ignore students who have opted Hindi as a medium of instruction and has issued a slew of directions in this regard, including making available sufficient number of textbooks.

The court was acting on a PIL that complained about DU's "step-motherly treatment" towards those opting for Hindi medium.

"The Delhi University is showing discrimination in imparting education to students opting for Hindi medium vis-a-vis English medium students. Neither lectures are being delivered to Hindi medium students in Hindi nor is course material available to them. This attitude is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India (right to equality) and is affecting their future prospects and avenues of employment", the PIL filed by NGO People's Union for Civil Liberties through its counsel Prashant Bhushan said.

The DU argued it was not engaged in the business of preparation and publication of textbooks. It said even students who had opted for English medium had to arrange books from the market and libraries. It denied any discrimination between English and Hindi medium students.

After hearing both sides, a Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and Siddharth Mridul asked the DU to issue suitable instructions to its colleges to maintain a record of the number of students who opted for Hindi.

The court said the DU should also fix the minimum number of students required to make the courses available to students seeking Hindi as a medium of instructions.

The Bench asked the Directorate of Hindi Medium Implementation (DHMI) and University to take steps for publishing or promoting publication of standard books in different courses for the benefit of students opting for the Hindi medium. It also directed the Centre and the UGC to provide financial assistance to the DHMI for "satisfactory discharge of its functions."