Urdu language was born, brought up and thrived in this country and developed as a connecting language with a variety of Indian languages, and ultimately became one of the common spoken and written languages in India. The emergence of Urdu as the potential lingua franca of the country commenced in early part of eighteenth century to become the dominant language of educational and administrative needs. At the same time, the translation of books of Science, Social Sciences, Philosophy and Literature from other language into Urdu was initiated to disseminate the knowledge and also to serve as a vehicle for modern thoughts and expand the opportunities. The translated works in professional disciplines like medicine, engineering, law and education became immensely precious treasures for knowledge lovers to derive the best of prevailing knowledge and understanding in acquiring the capabilities for advancement of civilized society.

India being the native home of Urdu language and mother tongue of a large number of Indians, though the Urdu speaking population is spread over in a number of states, no part of the country can be claimed as its exclusive territory. Hence, the access to higher education through Urdu medium is extremely sparse for the population whose mother tongue is Urdu. As the receipt of instruction in once respective mother tongue is the fundamental right of an Indian citizen, it formed the basis of aspirations of Urdu speaking community that culminated into demand of a higher institution of learning which realized for the establishment of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) through an Act of Parliament in 1998 to offer the academic programmes through Urdu as the medium of instruction.   

The University, to enhance and enrich the academic activities, setup a Translation Division in July 1998 with a few experts appointed on contract/ part time basis and later on permanent basis to perform the translation work from English and other languages to Urdu and to get them published, as most course books were not available in Urdu. Subsequently, the Translation Division was elevated into the Department of Translation in 2005. However, in view of its significance, the erstwhile Translation Division was revived with the name of “Directorate of Translation and Publications” in January, 2016 with an expanded area of activities. It was assigned to manage to develop original course material writing and translation of materials not only to general educational disciplines but also to professional, technical and vocational educational streams and their publication. Further, it was entrusted for publication of University and Departmental Journals and Books by individual faculty in Urdu.

Today, the University is offering various UG and PG courses in languages, social sciences, commerce, management, science & technology and in other contemporary disciplines.  Moreover, through distance mode too, the language of instruction here is Urdu only. However, the insufficiency or rather unavailability of essential books in this wide range of subjects has been a stumbling block in the way of teaching and learning. In relation to the publication of Urdu books in the scientific and modern streams of knowledge, the scenario is not different at national or global levels. It is relevant to underscore that even though Urdu books are being published in India or elsewhere, they mostly cover fiction, poetry, literary criticism, politics, Islam and Muslim Culture etc., publications in the field of contemporary disciplines are not enough.  Little efforts have been made in the area of text books production for Urdu medium students that are a must to enhance their educational and intellectual progress. Hence, the establishment of Directorate of Translation & Publications in Maulana Azad National Urdu University is a vital initiative towards achieving the objectives related to ‘Urdu medium of instruction’. 


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