June 30, 2011

Sanskrit goes defunct at Andhra University

TNN Jun 29, 2011, 01.50am IST

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-29/hyderabad/29716333_1_counselling-ancient-language-vacant-seats

VISAKHAPATNAM: Sanskrit that is the mother of most Indian languages does not have any takers in the Andhra University. Not a single student has come forward to take admission in the post graduation course in Sanskrit this academic year. Thirteen applications for admission had been received in April second week for a total of 20 seats. But ultimately nobody joined the course.

The university authorities did not conduct the entrance examination in the first place as there were fewer applications than the seats that were to be filled up. So, they sought to admit the students directly. Four reluctant candidates appeared for the counselling but not one of them was willing to take admission in the PG course.

In the meanwhile, the admissions director of the university sent a missive to the faculty members concerned on the need to fill the vacant seats. "The four students who appeared for the first phase of counselling did not turn up for the second phase counselling. We were helpless," a senior official stated.


Sources said the four students were more inclined to join the Kendriya Samskrutika Vidyapeeth at Tirupati which offers free boarding facility. When contacted, AU registrar P Prasada Reddy said the university would go ahead even if there were 10 candidates ready to study the subject. "No one has come forward to take up the subject. What can we do if the students themselves are not evincing interest in studying the ancient language?" he asked.

Faced with this reality the university has decided to scrapthe PG Sanskrit course this year. "This is becoming common in many language subjects in several universities across the nation," the registrar claimed.

The Sanskrit department was set up way back in 1954 in AU. A scholar from Kerala started it. Many eminent professors and teachers worked in the department and 11 NRIs were awarded doctorates in Sanskrit from AU.

Ironically, as things stand today, even the department seems to have lost the glory. The Sanskrit department, which had a faculty of 10 members, now has only two- an associate professor and a teaching associate.

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