Many are bound to see this proposed move as a ‘downgrade’ for the Classical Tamil institute.

Another language squabble Classical Tamil institute could merge with Central Univ of TNImage: Central Institute of Classical Tamil/
news Language Friday, July 07, 2017 - 09:26

In what could further intensify the language wars between the state of Tamil Nadu and the union government, a proposal has been mooted to merge the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) in Chennai with the Central University of Tamil Nadu in Tiruvarur, reports T Muruganandham for The New Indian Express.

Many are bound to see this proposed move as a ‘downgrade’ for the Classical Tamil institute, and given that it comes close on the heels of debates over the alleged imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit in Tamil Nadu, this could stir up a new controversy.  

According to the report, this proposal was made by the Niti Aayog, and has been sent to the MHRD. Many reportedly believe that this move will reduce the 'autonomous institute of higher research functioning under the Ministry of Human Resources Development into a department with limited functional flexibility'.

However, the HRD ministry has sent this proposal to the institutions and it is only at the discussion level, and a final decision is yet to be taken. While discussing the matter, one of the executive council members of CUT stated that this merger could lead to protests from Tamil Nadu, reported TNIE.

The Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) was earlier functioning in Mysuru from 2006 to 2008 and then it was shifted to Chennai in 2008. A former senior fellow of the institute told TNIE that currently the institute could undertake research works on various topics and it has the power to take policy decisions but once it is merged the autonomy of the institution will be gone.

In 2004, the Central government had created a new category of languages as “classical languages” and declared Tamil as the first language under the category. The criteria for a language to be called classical is that it should have early texts or recorded history of at least thousand years and have a body of ancient literature or texts and its literary tradition should be original.







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