New Delhi/Chennai: Under attack from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and political parties in the state, the UGC on Thursday decided to withdraw it controversial circular directing universities to teach Hindi as one of the primary languages in undergraduate courses.
The University Grants Commission will now issue a revised circular on the subject tomorrow, UGC Chairman Ved Prakash said today, hours after Jayalalitha wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing "imposition" of Hindi and that the directive was "not binding" on the state.
"The last circular was issued inadvertently mentioning that Hindi be taught along with English as a primary language. UGC has decided to issue a circular tomorrow saying that Hindi is not mandatory. It is the prerogative of the university concerned to decide4 how to teach, who to teach and what to teach," Prakash said.
The circular became public earlier this week and was attacked by political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the DMK, MDMK and PMK, which said they would resist all attempts to "impose" the language on Tamil Nadu.
In her letter to Modi today, Jayalalitha said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said the circular, amounting to "imposing Hindi", had been initiated during the previous government.
She said the two institutions--Anna University and Alagappa University--had received the circular on September 16, 2014 where it was stated that Hindi be taught as a primary language along with English in undergraduate courses, besides following it in Law and Commerce streams also.
She said her party's stand was consistent and Hindi should not be imposed on non-Hindi speaking states.
The Official Languages Act, 1963, made it clear that Hindi should not be imposed on states not speaking the language, while the communication between Centre and such states, classified as 'Zone C', should only be in English, as mandates later.
"Therefore, the UGC circular will not at all apply to universities in Tamil Nadu," she said.
At a time when she raised demands like Tamil being made official language and being accorded the same status in Madras High Court, such a directive asking universities in the state to teach Hindi along English "is not only unacceptable, but also against the law," she said.
She said that in various streams in the universities, Tamil or other languages would continue to remain under Part I, English Part II and other related ones Part III.
"I have asked the Chief Secretary of the state to advice universities in the state to convey to UGC that the decisions taken in the Kendriya Hindi Samiti on July 27, 2011 will not be binding on them," she said.