Turkish language course flavour at Jamia
Indicative of the growing interaction between India and a nation that straddles the Asian and European continents, Turkish language courses are the hot flavour at the capital's Jamia Millia Islamia, with 400 applications being received for a bachelor's degree introduced from this year.
"The response is overwhelming. We didn't expect it. It's on account of a new phase of strengthening of bilateral trade relations between India and Turkey in the last few years, which has added to the demand for language experts on both sides," university Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung told IANS.
Jamia's Faculty of Humanities and Languages has hitherto taught Persian and Arabic as foreign languages.
Says faculty dean Gyan Prakash Sharma: "Indian presence in Turkey is increasing, because the government there is open to Indian investments. At the same time, because Turkey did not secure entry into the EU, it shifted its attention to this economic region. The engagement between the two countries is thus in heavy industry."
Besides the bachelor's course, Jamia is also offering a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma in Turkish. Faculty and research scholars from Jawaharlal Nehru University are also attending these courses, for which the university has enrolled 160 students this year.
The faculty for the programme will be provided by the Turkish government under a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Jamia.
"They have asked us for space, while the faculty will be provided by their government," Sharma said.
The new courses are part of the university's thrust to enhance understanding about geographical regions across the globe. Its study programmes on Pakistan, Central Asia, China, Bangladesh and Afghanistan "are aimed at preparing a cadre of researchers who have a firm grip over geopolitical issues", a university spokesperson said.
"At the same time, through its diplomas and advanced diplomas in European and Latin American languages, it's preparing trained manpower for BPO, tourism and hospitality sectors and even areas like heavy engineering," the spokesperson added.
Girl power in Jamia
There has been increase of about 12 percent in girl students in Jamia Millia Islamia, following a 10 percent reservation for girls. With this, the percentage of girls on the campus has crossed 30 percent.
"Our aim is to increase this representation to 50 percent... It will be our endeavour to make the campus a safe place for the girl student," Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung told IANS.
And the increase is not confined to traditionally popular courses but to courses like engineering too. "It is heartening to see girl students opting for engineering in large numbers," Jung said.
According to Khalid Moin, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, seats reserved for girls were the fastest to be filled this year. And girls from outside Delhi constituted the majority.
Jamia Milllia Islamia is a 92-year old central university with more than 15,000 students studying at research, postgraduate, undergraduate, diploma and certificate levels in different departments and faculties.
(Meha Mathur can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org) --IANS