Lucknow University

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Oriental Studies  department

Taluq-e-Daran-e-Awadh,1922 and Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic

Mohita Tewari, Lucknow University: Masters in Acharya finds messiah in 100-year-old pact, April 22, 2019: The Times of India

LUCKNOW: A nearly century-old agreement has saved a Lucknow University course from being discontinued.

Postgraduation in Acharya, which has 20 seats, has received a single application this year. Normally, the dismal admission demand makes the course a fit case for being scrapped from the university curricula.

However, MA (Acharya) will continue because the department that runs it enjoys special status under the Taluq-e-Daran-e-Awadh. This agreement, signed in 1922, states that LU will have to run the departments of Oriental Studies in Sanskrit and Oriental Studies in Persian and Arabic till the time the university exists.

Applications for the PG course in Acharya, run by the department of Oriental Studies in Sanskrit, has been on the decline for the past several years. The number came down to 12 in 2017; to four in 2018; and just one this time.

"Acharya is a specialized course in Sanskrit that offers in-depth knowledge about scriptures and ancient texts. The syllabus is sufficient for a person preparing for civil services or who is interested in jobs like translator and interpreter, but still its popularity has declined," rued assistant professor Prerna Mathur. "We are working to give the course a professional edge with the introduction of studies in yoga and traditional medicine," she added.

Professor P C Mishra, the dean of arts, said degree and diploma courses in the department of Oriental Studies in Sanskrit and Oriental Studies in Arabic and Persian were kept alive by the 1922 agreement despite plummeting demand.

Postgraduate courses in 11 other arts subjects have also received lukewarm response. They are Persian, Arabic, modern Arabic, Arab culture, anthropology, defence studies, jyotir vigyan, mathematics, philosophy, Sanskrit and linguistics. Only five applications have been received for 30 seats in Persian and 10 against 30 seats in Arabic. The number of applicants in the other nine courses is also less than half the number of seats.

These courses will however continue because they come under the "regular course" category with permanent faculty members and government funding. They cannot be discontinued even if they get fewer students.

The rule that courses with applications less than 60% of seats will be suspended applies only to self-financing courses, which are solely funded by the fees taken from students.

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