Ni Haq ma? That’s Mandarin for ‘How are you?’ and soon you will be able to reply in the same language.
The University of Pune has roped in three universities from China to offer language courses at its campus in Ganeshkhind. “The courses will commence from the academic year 2008-09,” said Dr Narendra Jadhav, Vice Chancellor of the University.
Dr Jadhav signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with officials at the Beijing, Jiaying and Yunnan Universities during his trip last month to China. He said linguistics professors from the three universities would conduct the language courses. “Signing an MoU with the university of Beijing, which is among the 20 best universities in the world, is an achievement,” said Dr Jadhav.
The Pune University is yet to chart out the details of the course and the fee structure. But it is expected that course fees would be comparatively lesser than what private language institutes charge.
Dr Jadhav said many students would be interested in learning Mandarin because of China’s growing economic power in the global world. The fact that trade volume between India and China has been increasing in the last few years would mean knowledge of the Chinese language will be an added advantage for students wishing to pursue a career in trade and commerce, Dr Jadhav pointed out.
“With China being one of the most upcoming nations in the world, learning their language would create more job opportunities for translators,” said former Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University Snehalata Deshmukh.
“Although, French and German languages are more popular, I would prefer learning Mandarin,” said Rahul Ketkar, a Mumbai university student. “I think in the coming years those who are well-versed with this language will have an added advantage in business,” said Ketkar, who is awaiting his final year Bachelor of Commerce results.
The fact that about 40 per cent of all international students who come to India to study, secure admission at the University of Pune is expected to boost the number of students who will want to study Mandarin. Every year the University — dubbed Oxford of the East — admits over five lakh students in 433 different colleges. Of these more than 10,000 are international students who come from 83 countries.