JNU Student’s Union starts Online Campaign against UPSC Excluding ‘Foreign’ Languages

The new Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union has launched an online campaign against the Union Public Service Commission ( UPSC ) excluding ‘foreign’ languages most noticeably Arabic and Persian from the list of optional subjects in exams.

In a petition addressed to the chairman, UPSC, D P Aggarwal and uploaded on change.org they point out that Arabic and Persian are being taught in several colleges and universities across the country, that the decision will make it difficult for students who’ve studied in madrassas to compete.

“”As a result of the existing UPSC regulation,”” says the petition, “”hundreds of students from Madarsa backgrounds, and who are pursuing a higher education in these languages, will now not be able to choose the subject of their academic interest as an optional in the UPSC exam. When our concern should be to ensure greater participation of students from Madarsas in all avenues of public life, such discriminatory clauses would end up closing several doors and options to such students.

“” Attesting to the validity of the petition, one Delhi – resident who’s signed writes,””I am a student of Arabic language and literature and was preparing for UPSC, but since I [got to know of] the new pattern and changed syllabus and that my subject Arabic was removed from the optional list, I [ was ] disappointed…I hope that this petition will work and my aspirations will be fulfilled.””

“It is a matter of further concern,”” the petitioners observe, “That even Arabic and Persian, which have been taught in this country for centuries, have been termed as ‘foreign’ languages.”

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