An advertisement calling for assistant professors for its Malayalam department which will reopen in the next academic session has been issued by the University of Delhi.

According to teachers, the department has not been functional for more than two decades. As the University Grants Commission (UGC) has given a mandate to all universities to “immediately” fill vacant faculty positions in all departments within six months, DU has advertised for assistant professors to fill all the vacant seats.        

Temporary appointments were made over the years to the 10 other departments under the Faculty of Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies (MIL). But the last appointment in Malayalam department was made in 1994.

The birth of the Malayalam department took place in 1961. It initiated under the Faculty of MIL along with departments for other languages. The department used to offer a Master’s course in Malayalam.

Even after being accorded the status of classical language, Malayalam is completely neglected by the university. The lack of interest of the subject among the students was quoted as the reason by the teachers but students of Kerala have showed an interest in the reopening of the department.

Some students are very keen towards the subject and said that if the department would have been functional, they could have taken it as their general elective subject.

The proposed syllabus for the curriculum is out on the website and the students can take up certificate and post-diploma courses next year onwards.

There are more than 1,000 students from Kerala studying at DU.

According to Maithry president, Amal K Simon, they had  raised this issue before the vice-chancellor and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

It’s heartening that DU has finally advertised faculty positions for Malayalam. Now, Kerala students will be allowed to opt for Malayalam as their optional language in civil services exam as soon as the department becomes functional.

~Rakshita Aggarwal

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