Nirmal Mangar, TT, Gangtok, June 14: The University Grants Commission has given its approval to Sikkim University to start two-year post graduate degree courses in Bhutia, Lepcha and Limbo languages.
The courses would be taught from the academic session starting in August this year.
“We received the official intimation today morning through a fax. This is another achievement for the university and for the students who want to pursue higher studies in these languages,” said assistant registrar Grace Chankapa.
She added that the varsity would be the first in the country to offer post-graduate courses in Bhutia, Lepcha and Limbo.
“These three have been enlisted as endangered languages by Unesco. We will soon invite applications from students. The university has under-graduate courses in these subjects which are pursued by 120 students,” Chankapa said.
Twenty students will be admitted to each of the courses.
Currently, Sikkim University, which has 12 colleges under it, offers 29 post-graduate courses, including one in Nepali. Three colleges teach Bhutia, Lepcha and Limbo languages at under-graduate level.
Chankapa said it would take time to appoint lecturers for the new courses and for now, local language experts will be recruited on contract.
Last year, varsity vice-chancellor T.B. Subba had written to the UGC seeking its approval to introduce the courses.
In April this year, representatives of the three communities had submitted a memorandum to the Union minister of state for human resource development, Ram Shankar Katheria, here seeking his nod for the PG courses.
“We are happy with the approval. It is a way forward towards preservation of literature and language,” said the president of Limbo Literary Society, S.P. Subba.
The president of Sikkim Lepcha Association, Sonam Dupden Lepcha, welcomed the move.
The president of Bhutia Literary Association (Bhutia Kayrab Yargay Tshogpo), Namdol Bhutia, said: “We welcome the move. We have already submitted a syllabus to the university.”