The petition, which has been floated by Ravi Sharma, an assistant professor of the language at Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), has been signed by over 100 teachers and has also been sent to the Prime Minister's Office as well as to President Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the Visitor of the university.
While studying the subject was compulsory in DU colleges in form of either a credit course or a qualifying course, the students have an option of not pursuing it after the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) was rolled out this session.
The CBCS implementation has offered students a choice between Modern Indian Languages (MIL), which include Hindi and English, as part of the Ability Enhancement Course (AEC).
According to the UGC structure, AEC now has two subjects Environmental Science and MIL/English. "It is not surprising that not a single first-year student has enrolled for Hindi classes at SRCC. The earlier system had Hindi as a compulsory subject.
"Students of BA (Prog) studied Hindi for three years, while those enrolled in honours programmes in Commerce and Humanities studied the language for at least one year," Sharma said. A few takers for the subject has also led to less work and reduced requirement of Hindi teachers.
"On one hand government observes Hindi week and on the other hand such is the condition in even prestigious colleges of the country. Hindi, which is our national language, will extinguish this way because soon absolutely no one will be opting for it," Pragya, a Hindi professor at Kirori Mal College said.
Another teacher at the college and an Academic Council (AC) member Lata said, "Students have always shown little interest in Hindi. But, the situation has gone worse since choice is now in the hands of students.
This has resulted in many colleges saying goodbye to their Hindi teachers." The workload cut has left ad hoc teachers worried as they feel there is a threat to their jobs.
"Many of us are worried. Due to very few takers, the workload has greatly reduced. What kind of nationalist government is this, which screams about promoting indigenous languages, but then treats Hindi this way?," said an ad-hoc teacher from an off-campus college.