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Despite the Government’s efforts to popularize Sanskrit, the number of students interested in the language is near to null at Panjab University. However, Urdu seems to be a subject of interest among the students applying for the Panjab University.
As few as 29 candidates applied for the 68 seats available for the Sanskrit certificate course offered by the university whereas only nine of them enrolled. The response towards the second entrance test held for Sanskrit was also poor with only three students appearing for it. The response is grave considering the fact that the university does not charge any fee for the course. In 2015, 37 candidates enrolled for the course as opposed to the 58 candidates who applied for the course.
Urdu course received 350 applicants for the 85 seats offered by the university and all seats have been filled. 200 candidates had applied for the course in 2015. As per some students, Urdu appeals to the candidates who are attracted towards literature, especially poetry. Since Urdu has a lot of prominence in songs and romantic poetry, students find it more stimulating.
Stating the reason of Sanskrit not being popular, a student said that the language is no more the means of regular communication and does not have an intriguing folklore that is essential to make a language interesting.
The demand for languages such as French and German is much more than any Indian language and this has come as a surprise to the Punjab University authorities.
More than 1000 students have applied to the French certificate course offered by the university. In 2015 this number was 800 while in 2014 it was 600. French aspirants have been rising over the years. There are 324 seats in the French certification course offered at Panjab University. This interest has been rising as students know that learning a foreign language gives them an advantage while they are applying for abroad education.
German has also been a popular option and 600 candidates have applied for the certificate course at the university whereas in 2015 this number was 380. There is a fascination among students to go to Germany for further studies, hence a lot of them show a keen interest in German language courses as it is mandatory for students to read and write German in order to be eligible to study in German universities.
The Panjab University has also been taking initiatives to teach Shahmukhi.