Welcome to the French Department!



  The Department of French of Ruia college is one of the oldest departments of French in the city. Founded in 1937, the Frenruia_1431.jpgch department has constantly nurtured the cause of the promotion of French language and iterature. It has been fostered by visionary teachers as Late Prof. V G. Hatalkar (1937-1964), Late Prof. N. P. Salkar (1964-1966), Late Prof. S. B. Kulkarni (1966-1967) between the 30s and the 60s. Subsequently Prof M.M Engineer took the department under his wing until 2006 and was ably assisted by Dr. Ruby Cerajo. Many a student has crossed the threshold of this department equipped with a BA degree in French and have continued their career in French. 


After the retirement of Prof. M.M. Engineer (1968-2006), and Prof. Ruby Cerajo (1972-2008), both of whom served for long years teaching French at Ruia, the French department was at a slack and on the verge of closure, as is unfortunately the sad fate of many a language department in the country at large. However, 2009 marks another important year for French in India, as the department was officially revived once again.

Today Ruia is the only college in the city offering a graduate programme (BA) in French.


Dr. Vasumathi Badrinathan
Head, Department of French

Dr. Vasumathi Badrinathan is the  Head of the Dimg_1289.jpgepartment of French. An alumnus of Ruia, having done her graduation in this very college, and a rank holder at the University of Mumbai at the Masters level (MA), Vasumathi brings to the French department, her vast experience in French teaching for over two decades. Vasumathi has an M Phil, (formerly D.E.A) from the University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France and a doctorate in French didactics (didactique des langues et des cultures), French as a Foreign language, (FLE), and Educational Sciences (Sciences de l'éducation) from the University of Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, France, with the highest grade awarded to theses in French universities ie., Félicitations du Jury.

Vasumathi has wide experience as a senior teacher, and teacher trainer with the Alliance Française de Bombay, the apex international body for learning French language and culture. Besides conducting innovative and interactive workshops and courses, she is also a trainer of trainers, involved in various faculty training programmes. Vasumathi is a regular speaker in national & international conferences on French teaching and allied themes. Her research interests include teacher professional identity, issue of native/non native foreign language teachers, teacher autonomy, pedagogical approaches, French phonetics, gestural studies, intercultural approach, new technology and ICT (Information & Communication Technology) in language teaching, the Indian context. She has international research publications to her credit and with her dual background in both French literature and applied linguistics, she is equipped to spearhead the French department.

Ms. Madhur Shende, Tutor


Courses, Syllabus, Admissions

The department offers a 3 year integrated Bachelor's degree in French. This BA degree is composed of the First Year BA (FYBA), Second Year BA (SYBA) and the Third Year BA (TYBA).

At the FYBA level, French has two components - Compulsory French and the other, Optional French, alongside other subjects. At the SYBA level, one single component continues- Optional French, again alongside other subjects. At the TYBA level, the student can opt for a specialisation entirely in French, with all 6 papers. This will lead to a BA in French.students.jpg

The syllabus in use is laid down by the University of Mumbai. The FYBA Compulsory French component includes a section on French grammar, translation, written comprehension and another section on a simple literary text. A small spoken French component is part of the evaluation. The FYBA and SYBA Optional French paper is based on literary texts and a small spoken French component in the evaluation. The TYBA papers are also based on French literature currently.

For admission forms and administrative formalities, contact the College office.

Note : To do a BA in French at the TYBA level, the student should have done Optional French at the FYBA and SYBA level at some point in time. Direct admission in TYBA - French, without fulfilling this requirement, is currently not possible.


Resources 20090406507602011.jpg

The College has a well equipped French s1205429480_bienvenue_chez_les_ch__tis__affiches_cinema_1.jpgection in the library consisting of around 1500 titles. The department also possesses resources such as dvds, cds, journals etc, that enrich the department. The departmental library has a rich collection of books on French and interdisciplinary topics. The department also maintains a pdf resources library.




 NEW! Visit the blog of the French Dept ! Nous, on blogue !!!

  Le Cercle Français

This is the French club of Ruia founded way back in the 1968 by Prof Engineer, in order to encourage student activities relating to French language and culture and thereby motivate learners. Visits by distinguished guests, cultural activities are a part of the Cercle Français.

Le Kiosque Français - French Department Notice Board

This notice board features news about France, India and the Francophone world as well as activities of the department. French Word of the Week - This section of the notice board caters to all lovers of language. Prepared by students, this section puts up one French word every week with meaning and pronunciation.

My Voyage with French:  Moi et le français.

This is a series of interactive sessions. The objective is to invite guest speakers from different walks of life who have a long contact with French. Speakers will share their experience with French language, culture and how they use it in their professional lives. This open session is to motivate students and to help them see successful real life applications of French language knowledge.

Guest In Class : Invités de Classe

In this classroom series, guests are invited to class to interact with the students on a variety of subjects. The idea is to motivate the students, provide them a platform for interaction, and above all, widen their vistas relating to language learning, its applications and different cultures.

Prof V.G. Hatalkar Memorial Lecture Series

Instituted in the academic year 2009-10, this lecture series bears the name of the first Head of the Dept of French at Ruia, Prof. V.G. Hatalkar. Prof Hatalkar held fort between 1937-64 and taught French, History; he was even familiar with German. He worked on the relationship between the Marathas and the French and even had the opportunity to visit and study in France. In an age and time when foreign languages were truly 'foreign' to India, Prof Hatalkar strove to spread the cause of language and culture. It is for this reason that this lecture series has been created in his name- a representation of the love for language and culture and affirmation in its positive power.

The Prof V.G. Hatalkar Memorial Lectures will be delivered by eminent speakers and will be of an informative and scholarly nature. They will focus on interdisciplinarity relating to francophony, France and India.

The Inaugural lecture will be held on 9th October 2009 on Bilateral Cooperation between France & India: Current ties and Future perspectives.

July 2009

4th July 2009 - Guest in Class series. Interactive session with Ms. Maria Campo Cuesto - Spanish Language teacher in India. Maria spoke on the importance of learning foreign languages and the students were very enthusiastic in interacting with her. The session gave a new dimension to the students' perspectives about languages and Europe.

Click here to read more and see pictures!

13th July 2009 - We celebrate French National Day ! Exciting events are on the agenda. All students and teachers interested in French language and culture are most welcome. The event is scheduled in Room G12 (Audio Visual Room), from 11 am onwards. Guest speakers, student presentations, quiz, French songs and more. Please check College Notice Boards for details.

25th July 2009 - My Voyage with French - Invited speaker Ms. Smita Nair, Translator/Interpreter shares her experience.

Guest in class series : Brice Marie, a French engineer working in India and his crosscultural experience.

September 2009

Guest in class : Mme Dominique Frin, Attachée Linguistique at the French consulate, Mumbai

Forum Pédago

22 September : Launch of Forum Pédago, le réseau des enseignants du FLE and the first réunion- a huge success!

Théâtre de rue

Wait for the Department's Street Play ! Exciting and first time ever at Ruia !!!

October 2009

Friday 9th October

Prof. V.G.Hatalkar Memorial Lecture Series

Inaugural Lecture : Bilateral Cooperation between France and India: Current ties & Future Perspectives

 by Mr. François PUJOLAS, Consul Général de France et Head, French Trade Commission

Venue :T-1 at 11.15 am.

Wednesday 16 October

Intercultural Dialogues. Panel discussion with 8 foreign national students living and studying in Mumbai

G-12, 11am

January 2010

11 Jan Journée France

An entire day of activity relating to France and francophone culture under the French Embassy's Bonjour India Festival of France in India 2009-2010

Inauguration by Mme Anne DUBOURG, Directrice, Alliance Française de Bombay

Panel Discussion on Cultural differences at the Work place: France and India

Presentation on Higher studies in France, Quiz, CV writing workshop and much more !!!

G-12, 10am onwards

18, 19 Jan

National Workshop for French Teachers

Autoformation et intégration des multimédias dans l'enseignement et dans les apprentissages.

Marie-José BARBOT, Professeure Emérite, Université Charles-de-Gaulle, Lille 3, et Dr. V. BADRINATHAN, Directrice, Département d'études françaises, Ruia College

Elearning Centre, 9am

February 2010

Watch out for the final big bang activité to close the academic year 2009-2010 - Bouteille d'Amour !!

Year 2010-2011

Two of our students Toral Gala and Ashwini Vaishampayan were selected by the French Embassy for the international programme Allons en France.  Only 4 students were selected from India and 2 belonged to our Department ! This event drew more than 150 young participants from all over the world. Toral and Ashwini went to Paris and Poitiers for this gathering, organised by the French Government and the French External Affairs Ministry. Félications à Toral et à Ashwini !!!

The French department started off the year with the Fête Nationale Française. Songs, skit, quiz, were in the offing. Lit up horns, funny caps, colourful wigs.... The event truly rocked !!! The guest of honour was Mr. Sylvain Julien, Attaché légal of the French consulate. He spoke on 'Etre Indien, Etre Français : la vie des Indiens en France'. This was followed by a very lively interaction with the students who loved every bit of the event !

Chasse au Trésor : a fantastic Treasure Hunt brought together 23 student groups, having in all more than 85 individual participants. They scurried around the entire length and breadth of Ruia College to hunt for the treasure, armed with their language and culture related clues. Did anyone ever imagine Ruia had so much of a French touch?? From Pasteur to Rousseau, from the chemistry lab to the library, the College abounds with language, history and French !!! The winning group- a bunch of young students took away their prizes- a booty bag full of goodies and a discount voucher for any Foreign Language course at Ruia's Foreign Language Centre. We are grateful to the coordinator of the Foreign language Centre for this gesture.

Invités de Classe : Guests in Class

3 French scholars attached to the IIT Bombay shared their experiences about India, France, academics and culture with our students. It was a higly interactive experience.

Jean-Pierre Forgeneuf, French professor, settled in India for over 14 years, enthralled the students with his bicultural identity, his knowledge of India, of France, of cinema and students ! The students loved the experience and requested him to come once again for another interaction!!,

Jan 6, 7 th 2011

International Bilingual Conference in English and French on 'Fostering Learner and Teacher Autonomy in Educational Practices : Languages and Beyond' / Autonomie de l'Enseignant et de l'Apprenant dans les pratiques éducatives : regard sur les langues et au-delà

The Conference was organised by the Department of French, Ruia College, in collaboration with University of Charles-de-Gaulle, Lille 3, University of Turku, Finland and AGRAF-international research group. The event is supported by the Embassy of France in India.

. Keynote speakers included Prof Dr. Philip Benson,  Prof Dr. David Palfreyman, Prof. Dr Rama Kant Agnihotri, Prof Dr: Marie-José Barbot, Prof Dr. Christine Develotte, Prof. Dr. Marie-José Gremmo, Mr Rohit Dhankar, Prof Dr Fred Dervin. Besides, the Conference will draw more than 50 speakers and scholars from many universities and institutions across the globe like USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, France, Austria, Estonia, Finland. 

Conference was inaugurated by His Excellency the Governor of Maharashtra, Shri K. Shankaranarayanan



July 2011
The Dept celebrated La Fête nationale with usual gusto. Our guest of honour this year was Mme Armelle Telang, professor of French settled in Mumbai.
August 2011
Our guest in class under the series My Voyage with French was Mme Niketa Purandare. Working with the French tourism agency, Atout France, she spoke spontaneously about her experience in a very interactive session.
September 2011
The Dept's Festival FrancoFun 2011 was a runaway success ! Several colleges participated in the intercollegiate quiz and the air was electric. The festival included a play, song, dance and a panel discussion with 8 foreign students studying in India. The guest of honour was Mr David Cordina, Studies Director, Alliance Française de Bombay.
October 2011
The Dept was happy to host a guest lecture by Dr. Nicolas Poussièlgue, Attaché Scientifique, French Consulate. In a very enlightening talk, he spoke on recent technological advances in France and of latest collaborations in science between India and France.
January 2012
The 3rd Prof VG Hatalkar Memorial Lecture hosted the very eminent Prof Michel Morange, Prof of Science History, Ecole Nationale Supérieure, Paris. His talk was entitled Life Explained. Speaking to a full hall of students and professors, Prof Morange entertained a variety of questions after his talk. The event was attended by the following dignitaries : Mr. Jean-Raphaël Peytregnet, Consul Général de France, Mr. Nicolas Poussièlgue, Attaché Scientifique, Mme Dominique Frin, Attaché Linguistique, Mme Anaïs Rieu, Press Attachée, all of the French Consulate. Mr David Cordina, Studies Director of the Alliance Française de Bombay also present.
February 2012
1st Feb. G-12 (AVVR )Workshop- Understanding And Appreciating Art. In English. 9am-4pm
Sessions on Painting, Photography, Sculpture. Modules conducted by eminent painters Padmanabh Bendre & Yashowardhan Kauns, well known photographer Apoorva Guptay & Prof P.P. Desai, Dept of Sculpture, J.J.School of Arts.
13 Feb.
Dept of French celebrates La Journée de la Francophonie with presentations by students on the Dix Mots de la Francophonie. In collaboration with Caravane des Dix Mots. G-12




Watch out for future events of the Department in this space!


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