A first of its kind Advanced Centre for World Classical Languagesis established at the Tamil University in Thanjavur.
The centre for the study and research of classical languages-Tamil, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Chinese and Arabic-will be named after the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and called ‘Kalaignar Advanced Centre for World Classical Languages'.
Closely on the heels of the World Classical Tamil conference in Coimbatore, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will inaugurate the centre at the Tamil University campus on July 27, said a release issued here on Wedensday by M.Rajendran, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil University.
Dr. Rajendran told The Hindu that the centre will be unique in providing for comparative studies of all the classical languages of the world.
He noted that the International Institute of Tamil studies was started after the Second World Tamil Conference while the Tamil University came up after the Fifth World Tamil Conference. . Another feature is that this centre is funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC) with approval from the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, Dr.Rajendran said.
The University senate has passed a resolution for establishing the centre as a token of gratitude to Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi whose efforts got the classical language status to Tamil and for his involvement in developing the language. The resolution was sent to the UGC which hasgiven Rs. two crores for this year to establish the centre.
The centre will help in comparative research of world classical languages, translation of grammar and literature in the languages, bringing out cultural and historical encyclopaedias of world classical languages, quotations in them, world classical languages dictionary etc.
The centre will have eight professors, eight joint professors and eight assistant professors in all. A person with doctorate in Tamil and a degree in any one of the world classical language other than Tamil will be the director of the centre.
Further funding is expected from the UGC in the second year. UNESCO's involvement in the centre is expected in the future,w said Dr. Rajendran.