Eight working on classical Kannada in CIIL retired recently

The delay by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development in appointing scholars in key positions at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the Mysore-based Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) has proved to be the biggest impediment in researching and promoting Kannada, which was accorded the classical language status in 2008.

The Centre of Excellence in the CIIL was set up in 2011 to document, propagate and teach classical Kannada.

Significantly, funds released by THE HRD Ministry are learnt to have been returned because of the delay in expediting the process of appointing a Project Director and subordinate staff for the CoE. The Centre’s plan to translate classical texts into other Indian, English and European languages has remained on paper.

Upset with the “technical hurdles” in taking up study of classical Kannada, the Karnataka government had sought permission of the Union government to set up a Centre of its own, on the lines of Tamil Nadu.

According to Basavaraj, Secretary, Department of Kannada and Culture, a proposal seeking permission to set up the Central Institute of Classical Kannada (CICK) was sent just a few days ago. “A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting recently convened by Minister of State for Kannada and Culture Umashree”, he said.

When The Hindu contacted Deputy Director of the CIIL Subbu Krishna, he asserted that the CIIL played a pivotal role in getting the classical tag and is trying its best to avail itself of the benefit of the status. Funds could not be used because of a technical problem in appointing the Project Director and subordinate staff. “Once appointment is made, it will take care of research, documentation, propagation and teaching of classical Kannada,” Mr. Subbu Krishna said.

Sorry state of affairs

Admitting that eight Kannada scholars, who were working on classical Kannada retired recently, he said: “I am the only working Kannada scholar in the CIIL and will retire in September.” Once the Project Director is appointed, he will take care of everything under the supervision of the Project Monitoring Board set up by the Human Resource Department, he said.

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