President Pratibha Patil will inaugurate the first World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore on June 23. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had extended the invitation to her during his recent visit to New Delhi.

According to an official release here on Tuesday, 7,000 delegates from about 47 countries have registered for the conference from June 23 to 27. About 1,020 papers have been selected for presentation under 55 titles.

A major highlight of the conference is that foreign scholars constitute more than 25 per cent of the total number of scholars. The theme song has been penned by Mr. Karunanidhi and the tune set by A.R. Rahman.

On the first day, ‘Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Award,' instituted by the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, will be presented to renowned indologist Asko Parpola of Finland.

There will also be a pageantry of floats and performance by cultural troupes depicting the various aspects of Tamil language, literature and culture.

The inaugural function of the Academic sessions will be held on the forenoon of June 24 that will witness release of a special souvenir. Various literary programmes will be held as part of the general sessions.

As a curtain raiser to the conference, grand cultural shows of classical and folk dance and music will be organised in different parts of Coimbatore, in which 2,500 artists will take part. A botanical garden to commemorate the conference will be established in Coimbatore.

The ninth series of Tamil Internet Conference 2010 and Tamil Computing Internet Exhibition will form part of the five-day conference. The valedictory function will be held on June 27 and a commemorate stamp will be released.