The University Grants Commission (UGC) 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 August this year.
Assistant registrar of Sikkim University Grace Chankapa said that the varsity would be the first in the country to offer post-graduate courses in Bhutia, Lepcha and Limbo languages which have been enlisted as endangered languages by UNESCO. She added that 20 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 basis.
The move by the UGC comes after vice-chancellor T.B. Subba had written to the UGC seeking its approval to introduce the courses. Also 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, seeking his nod for the PG courses.
Members of the Limbo, Lepcha and Bhutia communities welcomed the move by the UGC. President of Limbo Literary Society, SP Subba said that the move is a step towards preservation of ethnic and endangered literature and language.