The Tamil Nadu government has sanctioned Rs.10 crore towards the setting up of a Tamil Chair at Harvard University in the United States and believe the move will give a huge impetus to research and preservation of the language.
Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami made the announcement on Friday and stated that the decision comes after two Tamilians based in the United States approached former CM J Jayalalithaa over the matter. She had then included this funding as part of her poll promises in 2016.
"I have directed that a sum of Rs. 10 crore be granted on behalf of theTamil Nadu government, which follows Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) footsteps, towards setting up a Tamil Chair at Harvard University and implement the (poll-time) promise,” Palaniswami said in a statement, according to The Hindu.
Once the chair is established, it is expected to pave way for research focused on Tamil language, history of Tamil rulers across the world, literature and and digitization of palm manuscripts. Six PhD scholars can be funded at any given time to carry out the research.
With this move, Tamil reportedly joins an elite club of six other classic languages including - Sanskrit, Hebrew, Chinese, Latin, Greek and Persian that have exclusive chairs at Harvard University. “We are proud that Tamil is the only language other than Sanskrit to be allotted a chair at the Harvard. And we are also equally proud that apart from Chinese, Tamil is the only living language to be accorded the honour,” Tamil Development Minister K. Pandiarajan told Deccan Chronicle.