Monday, May 16, 2011
Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha
Hindi university: Gandhi's dream turned into reality
Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | May 15, 2011, 12.25am
Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University|Mahatma Gandhi Hindi University
MYSORE: It was Mahatma Gandhi's dream during his stay in Sevagram, Wardha. He wanted Hindi to be promoted at the global level. 13 years down the line, the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University is doing its job to perfection.
It all started in 1975 when the first ever World Hindi conference was held in Nagpur. Two important resolutions were passed during this mega event - to set up an international university to cater to the national language and to promote the language at the world level and make it one of the official languages of the United Nations. This set up base for the first-ever central university in Maharashtra in the form of the International Hindi University - in Wardha.
Today, the university is not only providing latest courses in Hindi but also promoting the national language at the global level. Courses like MBA and BBA that were not available in any other language are now made available in Hindi by the Wardha-based university. Right from postgraduate courses in Hindi, the university offers diploma, MPhil and PhD degrees in various disciplines, something unheard of in this place. The university got a shot-in-the-arm when the union government decided to open two extension centres at Allahabad and Kolkata and also allotted Rs 10 crore each for running courses in the Hindi heartland. The Kolkata centre will cater to students from the northeast.
"We're fully set up and have already started working on our mission - to promote Hindi in the global arena," says vice chancellor Vibhuti Narain Rai.
The university recently conducted a workshop for teachers to impart Hindi in various countries. Many foreign nationals from Germany, Thailand, China, Serbia and Mauritius attended the two-week event. "We're facilitating coordination between various institutes across the world where Hindi is being taught in areas like syllabus development, content creation and audio-visual aid to students who study Hindi as a foreign language," says Rai.
The university is also working in the Diaspora and comparative studies. "We get very few students from this region. Most of our students are from the Hindi belt of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. However, we also get many students from the north-eastern states."
Nonetheless, the university had its share of controversies right since inception. Initially, it was opposed by a section of people from the Hindi heartland and later, students also protested alleging irregularities and mismanagement.
COURSES & FACILITIES
The university offers a range of postgraduate courses starting from certificate to diploma to MPhil and PhD. It also offers job-oriented diploma in forensic science, public relations advertising, journalism and mass communication, computers, drama and films and psychology among others, all in Hindi. Even the fees are less as it's a union HRD ministry-run university. The university has two boys and one girls' hostel apart from teachers and staff quarters.
The university began operations in 1997 from Delhi as the infrastructure was not ready. It finally started from the existing campus in Wardha in 2004. Initially, setting up the institution in a non-Hindi belt was fiercely opposed by those belonging to the Hindi heartland. "Since Mahatma Gandhi resided in this city in the last phase of his life by staying in Sevagram Ashram for 12 years, the decision was taken to set up the international level varsity in the city. He also inaugurated the office of Rashtra Bhasha Pracharini Sabha in same city. This was primarily the reason behind setting up of the university in the region," informs Rai.
Located on a hill, just 6.5 kms from Wardha, the university is in the midst of serene surroundings spread over 212 acres of lush green area. This fully-residential university has almost completed 90% of its work including setting up of its four schools under which its courses are broadly divided. Buildings of School Translation and Interpretation and School of Language are already complete. The School of Culture building will be inaugurated on June 30 while the School of Literature building would be ready next year. The university plans to add four more schools to its kitty, including management, education, law and humanities. The institution already has Laboratory in Informatics for the Liberal Arts (LILA) while three centres - Baba Saheb Ambedkar centre for Dalit and Tribal Studies, Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Ahimsa and Peace Studies and Dr. Bhadant Anand Kaushalyayan Centre for Buddhist Studies are also in existence. All these are engaged in research and study in various fields. All the buildings are made as per vaastu shastra and are a unique blend of aesthetics. A park dedicated to Gandhi at the top of the hill adds to the beauty of the institution.
The university has many ambitious projects, including launching a unique Hindi dictionary which will be updated and enriched every year on the lines of Oxford or Cambridge dictionaries. "Individual efforts were made to develop a Hindi dictionary. But we will make it at the institutional level which would be updated from time to time. Every year, new words would be added while obsolete ones would be deleted," says the VC.
Even for Hindi grammar no major work was done in the recent past. With the funds coming under the XIIth plan, the university plans to do research in this field and spread it to users. "We've already launched a dedicated website to collect Hindi words in the name of hindisamay.com. This will work on the lines of classicreader.com, a website for collection of English words," points out Rai.
The university also plans to launch a social sciences encyclopedia in Hindi and in a year launch it in volumes. "Our next aim is to introduce basic courses in political science, geography, economics, history and geography in Hindi. Also interdisciplinary studies and foreign language diploma courses including in Japanese and Chinese would be introduced. We're working on Nagri scripts and Hindi idioms. We have our expert team to prepare all this," he says.