Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday sought to defuse the ongoing row over making Urdu compulsory for graduates, saying its recent move was "misconstrued" as all undergraduate students will have to clear a compulsory paper either in Hindi or Urdu.
AMU Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah in a press release said that both Hindi and Urdu have always been compulsory subjects for graduates at the university.
Under the revised arrangement, those students who have studied Hindi as a subject in Class 12 have to opt for Urdu while those who have studied Urdu have to opt for Hindi at the graduate level, he said.
The university`s recent proposal for including the marks of Urdu in the final marks tally have been "misconstrued" and questions have been raised regarding the institution`s commitment to a pluralistic ethos, he said.
Shah clarified that the present move would ensure that all AMU graduates acquire a basic proficiency both in Hindi and Urdu.
The V-C said that despite being compulsory subjects, Hindi and Urdu were not taken seriously by undergraduate students since their marks were not counted in the division.
"Our present steps will ensure that students take both these subjects seriously, since from now the numbers secured in these subjects will be added to the aggregate," Gen Shah said.
"AMU takes pride in fostering the pluralistic ethos of our multilingual secular country and the above clarifications should finally remove any doubts or misconceptions on this score," he added.
The AMU had earlier issued a release saying that Urdu had been made a mandatory subject for all undergraduate students.
The release made no mention of the fact that both Hindi and Urdu had already been compulsory subjects at AMU since well over fifty years.
The report, which sparked off a row, had initially not mentioned that the only new provision which was introduced this year was the clause under which the numbers secured in either Urdu or Hindi would be added to the aggregate.