Language Courses


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 prestigious institution in the country, the University of Delhi (DU) is a hub for students looking to make a career, and houses the best colleges in the field of science, commerce and arts courses in the country.

The University of Delhi not only offers the mainstream courses, but also offers certificate and diploma courses in languages such as Romanian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian. As the world is turning into a global village and different foreign firms are entering the Indian markets, there are a large number of job opportunities that are being created to tackle the demand by these firms.

There are many factors that one should consider while choosing a foreign language to learn in DU, some of these factors being: difficulty level, personal preference, interest, target country or region, sectors or industries, possible immigration, and future goals, etc. French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and Japanese remain the most sought-after languages for most of the students interested in pursuing foreign language courses in DU. However, in recent years, demand for Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Korean and Arabic has also been on the rise.

Ayush, a Literature student from Kirorimal College who pursued Mandarin language from St. Stephen’s College found the experience to be ‘mixed’ and said, “The faculty was brilliant and I was able to learn the language as well as the culture, since our teachers made sure we celebrated Chinese festivals and devoured Chinese cuisine. Although, it was a task to handle the academics as the exams for the language courses start around ten days before the semester exam. Over all, it was worth it!”

Another student of Philosophy from Miranda House, Rupali Gujral, who pursued Spanish language from Hansraj College stated, “The fees was very feasible and although it did become a little hectic to juggle academics and language course, it was pretty amazing. I would advise students to go for it preferably in the first year itself as it is less tedious then.”

Application forms for the courses can be obtained from the respective colleges. St. Stephen’s College has made their registration process completely online. Colleges release merit lists based on the composite scores of best four subjects studied at Higher Secondary level. Once enlisted in the said merit list, students are required to report to the respective college and complete their admission. Self-attested documents including class 12 marksheets and class 10 marksheet-cum-certificate are required to be submitted along with the fees.

Considering the myriad options that DU has to offer and its wide-ranging opportunities, DU Beat brings you all the information you need about Language courses at DU.

(i) Delhi University – North Campus Colleges

  1. St. Stephen’s College, University Enclave – Certificate, Diploma & Advanced Diploma in French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese. Certificate and Diploma in Arabic, and Certificate in Persian.
  2. Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Pitampura – Certificate in French, German, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
  3. Satyawati College, Ashok Vihar – Certificate & Diploma in French and German.
  4. Daulat Ram College*, Maurice Nagar – Certificate, Diploma & Advanced Diploma in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
  5. Hansraj College, Malka Ganj – Certificate, Diploma & Advanced Diploma in French and German.
  6. Ramjas College, Maurice Nagar, Delhi University – Certificate course in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese & Chinese, Diploma in French, Japanese & Chinese and Advanced Diploma in French.
  7. Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Pitampura, Near Sainik Vihar – Certificate course in French and German.
  8. Mata Sundri College*, Mata Sundri Lane – Certificate course in French, Spanish and German.
  9. Miranda House*, Patel Chest Marg – Certificate course in French, Spanish and German.
  10. SGTB Khalsa College, Mall Road – Certificate course in Spanish, Russian, German, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.
  11. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Karampura – Certificate course in Russian.
  12. Hindu College, University of Delhi – Certificate course in French, German, Spanish and Russian.
  13. Zakir Husain College, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg – Certificate course in Russian.
  14. LakshmiBai College*, Ashok Vihar – Certificate course in Chinese and Japanese.
  15. Kalindi College*, East Patel Nagar – Certificate course in Chinese language.

(ii) Delhi University – South Campus Colleges

  1. Jesus & Mary College*, Chanakyapuri – Certificate course in French.
  2. College of Vocational Studies, Sheikh Sarai Ph-II – Certificate course and Diploma in French and German.
  3. Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Netaji Nagar – Certificate course in French, German and Spanish, and Diploma in Spanish and  German.
  4. Acharya Narendra Dev College, Govindpuri, Kalkaji – Certificate in Russian; Certificate & Diploma in French, Spanish and German & Advanced Diploma in Spanish.
  5. Kamla Nehru College*, August- Kranti Marg – Certificate, Diploma & Advanced Diploma in French
  6. Bharati College*, Janakpuri – Certificate in Russian, French, Chinese and German, and Diploma and Advanced Diploma in French and German.
  7. Sri Venkateswara College, Dhaula Kuan – Certificate course in German and Chinese.
  8. Gargi College*, Siri Fort Road – Certificate course  in German.
  9. Lady Shri Ram College*, Lajpat Nagar 4 – Certificate course in Russian.

*Women’s  colleges of DU.

Certificate level requires candidates to have passed 10+2. For Diploma and Advanced Diploma level, certification and Diploma is required respectively in the corresponding language. Admission will be given on merit or entrance test.

All the colleges offer convenient time slots for the classes on all the days. The fee structure too is pocket friendly  varying from INR 12,000- INR 19,000 depending on the course and time slot one chooses.

It’s time to finally replace your ‘Proficiency in English’ to ‘Proficiency in Spanish/French/any other language’ that you want!

Happy learning!

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Bhagyashree Chatterjee                                   [email protected]


Lack of commercial significance and unwillingness of students to pursue the language courses has resulted in fewer students opting for these fields; primarily, Hindi and Sanskrit. Here’s exploring the reason behind this pattern.

The academic world has been taken by storm by the prominent rise of Commerce and Economics as primary fields of higher education. It is thus inevitably assumed that if the class XIIth board examinations do not go in one’s favour, the recent pass-out is fated to opt for these language-specific arts courses as a browbeaten backup. The streams of Hindi, Sanskrit, and their likes have been destined to fall into this unfortunate category.

With its origin dating back to the second millennium, Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages to exist today. Emerging from the roots of it is our official language Hindi, which was derived back in the 7th century AD. Hindi is the fourth most-spoken language, with approximately 490 million people making use of it. Sanskrit is the official state language of Uttarakhand. Given their history and usage, there are hardly a few more languages that are as decorated as these two.

However, when it comes to studying these subjects at the undergraduate level, the numbers aren’t as staggering as that of the commerce courses. In the University of Delhi, there are about 45 colleges that offer B.A. (Hons.) Hindi, and only about 25 colleges that offer B.A. (Hons.) Sanskrit. Even after a limited number of seats for these courses, the seats fill up rather slowly. However, having said that, there has been an increase in the number of students pursuing these courses in the recent years.

Speaking to DU Beat, Dr. Subhash Chandra, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sanskrit, said

“The slow growth is due to the high demand of job-oriented courses in the market. The research and development in these subjects require students who are completely focused on these subjects which are very few.”

It cannot be refuted that the commercial significance of these languages is not as high as the commerce courses. Also, the lack of placements of students pursuing these courses is a huge factor contributing to the stagnation.

In this age of advancement, it is understandable that students want to pursue courses that offer better career-building prospects. The kind of scope and number of opportunities that the mainstream courses provide are incomparable; whereas, these language courses are more about research and exploration. Also, these courses require immense effort and a higher degree of knowledge which results in a long and continuous studying phase. However, these are not the only reasons that act as a hindrance. Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Associate Professor of Hindi Department, opines that

“Hindi and Sanskrit languages cannot restore their place as long as there is no change in the system. Our studying curriculum involves the use of English mostly as it is regarded as an elite language.”

The fact that a few students opt for these courses only when they are unable to find other courses does not help the situation. The use of English in studying directly encourages students to learn and use English. As highlighted in the statement, the discrimination of Hindi and Sanskrit very much explains why there is a scenario of fewer students opting for these courses.

Regardless of the usage of English, the fact stays that it is a secondary language for us. Owing to the choice-based credit system (CBCS) introduced by DU, the number of students studying Hindi and Sanskrit have increased. Students pursuing other courses can opt for these subjects simultaneously if they wish to. Also, these languages are a part of the curriculum which makes it compulsory for students to study it. Adarsh Kumar, a third-year student of B.A. Hons. Hindi of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College says,

“I don’t feel like there is a lack of opportunities in this program. The course covers a lot of things and I have learned a lot of things. I am very happy with the curriculum.”

Maybe we need to revamp the current backdrop to bring a change. Maybe we just need to open up doors of opportunities that make the language courses seem lucrative. Maybe we need something more drastic. We need to take this trend of increasing number of students in these courses to a higher level, where one day students might be standing in the queue for hours to enroll themselves in this program. Hopefully, one day, we can relish studying the language that is our own.


Feature Image Credits: Language Services Bureau 


Karan Singhania

[email protected]