Panjab University (PU) will likely start the six-month course in Shahmukhi from October this year, the first batch of which will be charged no fee. The syllabus for the course on the Urdu alphabet used to write Punjabi in Pakistan, has been finalised and the proposal is to be presented to the syndicate on July 7 for anticipation.
The committee on Shahmukhi headed by Lt Gen KJ Singh (retd) held its meeting on Wednesday and will submit the minutes of the meeting to the vice-chancellor Arun K Grover on Thursday.Committee memberand Punjabi department chairperson Prof Yog Raj Angrish said, “It is up to the syndicate now as to when they decide to approve it.”
The syllabus for the course has been designed by assistant professor Ali Abbas and associate professor (re-employed) Madhukar Arya. The course with 40 seats will focus on mastering the script by teaching the students the alphabet, words, sentence-making, synonyms, antonyms and pronunciation, creating an opportunity for students to be able to read the literature from across the border and conduct research. The students will also be able to translate the literature into Gurmukhi for readers here.
“Graduation will be the eligibility for admission in the course and knowledge of Gurmukhi and Devnagari scripts is mandatory. The fee for the course has been proposed to be Rs 5,000. However, the first batch will be taught for free. Depending on the response, it can be converted into one-year and degree courses,” Angrish said.
The admissions to the evening course will be interview-based and classes will be held at Guru Teg Bahadur Bhawan on varsity campus.
A state initiative
During a visit to PU in February this year, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal had asked the students to know more about the heritage of Punjab, with focus on the Shahmukhi script. Badal had proposed five posts of teachers for the course, the approval for which is yet to come. Till then, teachers from Urdu department will take the classes.