New Delhi, Nov. 26 (ANI): Kannada Studies Chair established at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) with the financial assistance of the Karnataka Government was inaugurated by Professor S. Shetter of National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, in presence of Professor K. Kasturirangan, chancellor JNU, and Ms. Umashri, Minister of Kananda and Culture, Government of Karnataka at University Convention Centre here today.
Prof. Shetter outlined the scope that the chair would have and gave an overview of Kannada literature and Prof Kasturirangan promised all support to the Chair established at the University here under Prof Purushottama Bilimale. The speakers also thanked the Delhi Karnataka Sangha for its efforts to establish the chair.
The lecture was followed by a Yakshagana performance by the Yakshakala Academy from Bengaluru.
Prof. Sudhir K. Sopory, Vice-Chancellor of JNU and Prof. Sudha Pai, Rector, were also present on the occasion.
The event is historically important in the academic world as the idea of establishing the Kannada Studies Chair was conceived over a decade ago to undertake language teaching, literary and cultural studies, and digital archiving.
The chair established at the Centre of Indian languages, School of Languages, Literature and Culture of JNU will also have certificate courses, online production of Kannada teaching material, and building up an international network of Kannada teaching Centres.
The Kannada Studies Chair will work like other chairs of Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Tamil languages towards disseminating the rich history and culture of Kannada.
Dr. Purushothama Bilimale will head the Kannada Studies Chair. Dr. Bilimale has served as Director of the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi; Head of the Department of Folklore, Kannada University, Hampi; and lecturer in Kannada department of the Mangalore University earlier.
According to Dr. Bilimale, the centre will have an integrated course of M.Phil. and Ph.D program from next academic year. He also has a plan to create a Kannada teaching portal to meet the needs of non-resident Kannadigas.
The chair is supported by the Karnataka Government with a financial assistance of Rs. 50 lakh per year for a period of five-years towards academic activities and the establishment. Students of the Centre for Indian Languages will study Kannada as a subject. If they opt for comparative study, the Kannada Chair will help them with academic input. (ANI)