foreign language


DU, often seen as India’s premier public institution, is technically equipped with a flurry of departments, from Finno-Ugric to Persian ones, but given Delhi University’s limited funds, inefficient administration and other maladies which rather famously plague the institution, one does question how well these departments continue to function?

One of my first experiences of the infamous DU chaos was when I visited the Faculty of Arts campus, to sign up for Russian classes, from the Slavonic Studies Department, the only one in the entire country. Not exactly to my surprise, most people I asked had no clue where the department was located within the campus. Eventually, from a back entrance, up a cobweb-covered staircase, I did find the department, a singular hallway with classrooms on either side and an administrative office with an aversion to Gmail. 

While my experience was obviously personal to me, the state of our foreign language departments, once created in order to help foster bilateral ties internationally, create a globalized perspective and in general, integrate the Indian student body with the rest of the world. However, some problems continue to persist. 

Both the Persian and Slavonic Departments have extremely low research output, as intimated by the information made public on their websites with the latter showing only 18 research candidates between 2004 and 2017.

Departments like those of Germanic and Romance Studies, simply do not seem to have functioning websites, which raises questions as to how interested students are to access crucial information regarding syllabi with ease, without even getting into the lack of awareness given the inaccessibility. Similarly, the epartment of Arabic studies, too, doesn’t have its own website to access.

Furthermore, a quick glance at the respective syllabi raises questions about its relevance, especially in comparison to universities abroad, which have far more extensive, well-rounded and relevant curriculums as related to DU whose department plans consist primarily of standard, older syllabi plans, with little to no practical component. 

These foreign language departments are usually aimed at fostering a sense of internationalism and facilitating India’s international relations ties, by creating academics and linguists who could encourage and foster a sense of globalism. But, as these departments blend into the shadows, it makes us question if India’s premier institution is losing its sense of internationalism, as a whole. 

Read also-  https://dubeat.com/2020/03/16/language-and-patriarchy-the-case-of-gendered-languages/

Image credits – DU Beat


Chaharika Uppal

[email protected]


A language quite foreign to us has turned out to be the one that we use to communicate with all kinds of people in the present times. Our past provides reasons for it. But is its acceptance a genuine reality?

It is a fact, well acknowledged by all of us Indians that English is a language that has helped us to establish a facilitating link with people living across the country. No matter how much we criticise the penetration of the language in all parts of the country or the effect it has had on us, we still do acknowledge the basic fact that it bridges the gap between a Kashmiri and a Keralite, or a North Indian and a Northeasterner.

The dynamics involved here are simple – we were under the rule of the British for more than 200 years and they put their heart and soul into gaining power over us. With the arrival of the East India Company in 1600, something that no one ever thought about, came true. A country bound together in a unified umbrella despite the different cultural boundaries was under scrutiny. Lord Macaulay observed, realised, and capitalised this. He knew that to divide this country, no wars and weapon could help. And instead what needed to be targeted was language. We were robbed of our own identity and culture, taught by force, a language we did not need to know. That was the beginning of an epic fall. The point remains, could we really control this violation?

In his essay titled ‘Commonwealth Literature’ Does Not Exist, Salman Rushdie writes ‘what seems to me to be happening is that those peoples who were once colonized by the language are now rapidly remaking it, domesticating it, becoming more and more relaxed about the way they use it – assisted by the English language’s enormous flexibility and size, they are carving out large territories for themselves within its frontiers’.Later in the essay, Rushdie says that English was a gift given to us by the British.

Why is it so hard to accept then? It is the third most spoken language in the world after all.

English is a language of the British that has been derived from Latin, Greek, French and some other old languages. It’s a newly developed language that has gained acceptance widely in a very short period of time. Of course, there are countries that condemn and despise the language, but not all of them have been colonies of the Englishmen. The reason why India has welcomed the language in its realm with open arms roots out to the phenomenon that its citizens were coerced to. It is only natural to expect such an outcome. Moreover, since it is a relatively new language, it allows flexibilities that other languages don’t.

The cynicism and negative feelings surrounding the language and its widespread compliance in the geography stand in question now. Because of the rhetoric that arises immediately -what even is there to question? The key to tackle the situation now is to simply accept. Questioning the intrusion of a foreign language in our system is only going to lead to further questions, with no solutions whatsoever. Let us all accept, and live.


Feature Image Credits- Google Sites

Akshada Shrotryia
[email protected]

The following colleges of the University of Delhi offer part-time foreign language courses:

Here is the step by step admission procedure for the Certificate Foreign Language courses:

1) Apply
The application/notification of admission for the part time foreign language course will be released on the website of the college offering the part time foreign language course of your choice. Fill the application with all details, inclusive of your Class 12 marksheet.

Note: Some colleges have an online admission application process, however, majority of the colleges have an offline application process. The notification for the same is uploaded on the website of the respective college. As of now, DU Beat has been able to find links from the following colleges. In case the last date has not been mentioned or the admission procedure not specified on the website, students are advised to confirm with the college by physically visiting the administrative office.

1. SGTB Khalsa
Last date: 6th July

2. Daulat Ram College
Not updated

3. Sri Venkateswara College
Last date: 11th July

4. St. Stephen’s College
Last date: Midnight, 5th July

Last date: 20th July

6. Acharya Narendra Dev College
Last date: 20th July

7. Lakshmibai College
Last date: 16th July

8. Ramjas College
Last date: 28th June

9. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College
Chinese, Japanese, Korean: https://dducollegedu.ac.in/Datafiles/cms/file/Foreign%20Language2.pdf
Last date: 16th July
Russian: https://dducollegedu.ac.in/Datafiles/cms/file/Foreign%20Language2.pdf
Last Date: 16th July

10. Hans Raj College
Applications yet to open

11. Keshav Mahavidyalya
Last date: Not mentioned

12. Miranda House
Applications yet to open, inquire with college for more details

13. Kalindi College
Application forms available in the college office from 19th June

14. Mata Sundri College
Admission notice: http://ms.du.ac.in/Admission1819/foreign_languages.pdf
3rd cut-off: http://ms.du.ac.in/Admission1819/fl3.pdf

15. Gargi College
Admission notice on pages 50-51 of the prospectus.

16. Kamala Nehru College
Last date: 16th July

17. College of Vocational Studies
Last date: 20th July

18. Bharati College
30th June

19. Satyawati College
Applications yet to open

20. Zakir Husain Delhi College


2) Registration Fee
Your application form will be complete once the payment (online or offline) of the registration fee is completed.

3) Announcement of Cut-offs
Admission into a foreign language course is done on the basis of merit. The college releases cut-off lists, which can be cleared by a student on the basis of the results obtained in Class 12.

4) Admission
Upon clearing the cut-off, the student must visit the college campus to fill out an admission form, get their documents (Class 12 marksheet) verified, and pay the course fee. Some colleges have an online payment procedure, details of the same are updated on the college notice board. The completion of the payment marks the admission of the student into the course.

Feature Image Credits: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us

Vijeata Balani
[email protected]
Bhavya Banerjee
[email protected]