The new four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) of Delhi University (DU) will leave only three colleges there eligible to teach Punjabi, which is second language with Urdu in the national capital.
Only Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College, Mata Sundri College for Women and Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College, Karol Bagh,will now be eligible to offer Punjabi as major subject to students from the first year. Earlier, there was a provision for Punjabi as compulsory subject and students could keep this option for all three years in nearly 15 colleges.
Under the new plan, 13 colleges of the university will teach Punjabi, Urdu and other Indian languages only as minor subjects and only from the second year of admission. The decision leaves no option for students who want to study Punjabi from the first year in their college of choice.
Punjabis in Delhi haven't liked the decision. Manjit Singh GK, president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, said being custodians of Sikh children, the community would not let it happen. "We have tried to meet the DU vice-chancellor but he didn't entrain us. Now we plan to meet the union minister for human resource and development, to see that the decision is revoked," said GK.
Even academicians have opposed the move. Punjabi scholar and former DU Punjabi department head Jagbir Singh said the decision was the greatest threat to Punjabi studies he had seen in 40 years. "It never happened in the entire history of Delhi University, which has produced some of the eminent scholars and critics in the field," he said.