The explosion of news channels, newspapers and radio stations in Hindi has ushered in a change in the attitude towards the Hindi (Honours) course offered by colleges under Delhi University (DU). The idea of stardom and visibility associated with this field has turned this course’s popularity quotient up by quite a few notches.
The past few years’ cutoff lists of different colleges for the Hindi (Honours) programme are the best indicator of this trend. A comparison of last three years’ data reveals that the last cutoff percentage (after which no more candidates were admitted) across several DU colleges has seen a gradual increase.
Sample this: Miranda House’s last cutoff in 2007 was 65 per cent, which is higher than 64 per cent in 2006 and 62 in 2005. Similarly, Ramjas College, too, has been increasing it last admission percentage, from 58 in 2005 to 60 in 2006 and 65 in 2007. Hansraj College is not too far behind as it raised its cutoff in the subject to 64 per cent in 2007 from 62 per cent the year before.
Hindi lecturers and readers across colleges attribute this increased interest in the subject to the recent popularity attained by Hindi news channels, radio stations and newspapers. “Earlier we mostly had children from rural areas showing interest in Hindi (Honours). The popular perception has now changed and there many students, who, in spite of being fluent in English, prefer to pursue a BA degree in Hindi. Youngsters who later wish to specialise in Hindi journalism prefer to opt for this course as it helps build a stronger base and improve their linguistics skills,” Dr. Veena Agarwal, reader, department of Hindi, SGTB Khalsa College, explained.
“Students who wish to enter the field of Hindi media later in life prefer to study Hindi even at the undergraduate level because it obviously provides a better platform. Not only does the three-year course improve one’s fluency in the language, but it also hones their creativity,” said Rajni Disodia, senior lecturer, Hindi department of Miranda House.
Keeping the changing market scenario in mind, the Hindi course content was changed around four years ago. This, according to Amisha Aneja, reader, Hindi department at Lady Shri Ram Collge, could also be a factor why the subject is gradually but surely ascending the popularity ladder. “The course is no longer just literature-oriented. It now has components on translation, media and linguistics, which has opened up a plethora of opportunities for the Hindi students,” she said. Third-year students of Hindi (Honours) in many colleges can now opt for the 200-mark optional paper on media writing and Hindi journalism.
Apart from media, the number of job options otherwise for a Hindi student have also increased. A diploma course in translation after graduation can help one land the job of a translator. Almost all government offices and banks employ Hindi officers. Teaching is the evergreen option where Hindi students are easily absorbed.