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Turkish language course flavour at Jamia Millia Islamia

Sunday August 05, 2012 04:00:29 PM, Meha Mathur, IANS

New Delhi: Indicative of the growing interaction between India and a nation that straddles the Asian and European continents, Turkish language courses are the hot flavour at the capital's Jamia Millia Islamia, with 400 applications being received for a bachelor's degree introduced from this year.

"The response is overwhelming. We didn't expect it. It's on account of a new phase of strengthening of bilateral trade relations between India and Turkey in the last few years, which has added to the demand for language experts on both sides," university Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung told IANS.

Jamia's Faculty of Humanities and Languages has hitherto taught Persian and Arabic as foreign languages.

Says faculty dean Gyan Prakash Sharma: "Indian presence in Turkey is increasing, because the government there is open to Indian investments. At the same time, because Turkey did not secure entry into the EU, it shifted its attention to this economic region. The engagement between the two countries is thus in heavy industry."

Besides the bachelor's course, Jamia is also offering a certificate, diploma and advanced diploma in Turkish. Faculty and research scholars from Jawaharlal Nehru University are also attending these courses, for which the university has enrolled 160 students this year.

The faculty for the programme will be provided by the Turkish government under a Memorandum of Understanding signed with Jamia.

"They have asked us for space, while the faculty will be provided by their government," Sharma said.

The new courses are part of the university's thrust to enhance understanding about geographical regions across the globe. Its study programmes on Pakistan, Central Asia, China, Bangladesh and Afghanistan "are aimed at preparing a cadre of researchers who have a firm grip over geopolitical issues", a university spokesperson said.

"At the same time, through its diplomas and advanced diplomas in European and Latin American languages, it's preparing trained manpower for BPO, tourism and hospitality sectors and even areas like heavy engineering," the spokesperson added.

(Meha Mathur can be contacted at





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