Students of Delhi University (DU) colleges will have to pass a compulsory Hindi test to get their graduation degrees, if they have not studied the language till Class 8, a circular said on Thursday.
The Hindi department asked all DU college principals to identify such students and start the course for the exam, called the Compulsory Test Hindi (CTH), which was introduced after the academic council cleared it this July.
Hindi was not compulsory in the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS), implemented last year.
The council made changes to the CBCS syllabus to make sure everyone graduating from DU knows basic Hindi.
The Hindi test could trigger a controversy as hundreds of students in DU colleges come from states where the language is not compulsory in the school curriculum. Students from the Northeast threatened to launch a stir if the Hindi exam is introduced.
“This is a disgraceful attempt to discriminate students. It would cause immense hardship to students from communities that do not speak Hindi,” said Chinglen Khumukcham of the North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS).
In 2013, when the university introduced compulsory Hindi and modern Indian languages, students from the northeastern states had protested.
College principals, however, said the circular came from the Hindi department and not from the university administration.
“The department has written to us several times asking us to introduce this system. But until and unless we get a notification from the registrar, no college will implement it,” said Manoj Sinha, the principal of Aryabhatta College.
Officials in the university could not be reached for comments.