The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union has initiated an online campaign against Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for eliminating ‘foreign’ languages, i. e., Arabic and Persian, from the list of optional subjects in its exams.
The union has launched this campaign because there are hundreds of students who are either from Madarsa backgrounds or pursuing a higher education in Arabic and Persian languages, and now under the new UPSC regulation, they cannot choose the subject of their academic interest for optional paper in the UPSC exam.
The languages — Arabic and Persian, which have been taught in the country for centuries, have listed as ‘foreign’ languages for UPSC exam and now cannot be chosen as subject of optional paper.
In a petition addressed to the chairman of UPSC, they point out that Arabic and Persian are being taught in many colleges and universities throughout the nation, and now that the UPSC’s decision of excluding these languages from the list of optional subjects will make it difficult for students who’ve studied in Madarsas.
As a result of the existing UPSC regulation, says the petition, hundreds of students from Madarsa background or those who are pursuing a higher education in these languages, are unable to choose the subject of their academic interest for optional paper in the UPSC exam.
The petition further asserts that when our concern should be to ensure greater participation of Madarsas students in all avenues of public life, such discriminatory moves would tend to close several such options to them.