Jawaharlal Nehru University will start a new School of Indian Languages where courses on different languages will be offered from next year in a bid to celebrate the country’s cultural diversity.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Vice Chancellor Santishree D Pandit said the School of Indian Languages would house centres for different states where literature, culture and history would be taught.
Several states have shown interest in this regard and Tamil Nadu has already given Rs 10 crore for its centre, Ms Pandit said.
“JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) is starting a new School of Indian Languages where different state governments are giving the university a corpus to set up chairs.
They will become special centres of not only languages but also literature, culture and history of that state.
“Tamil Nadu has already given Rs 10 crore. Four more states — Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam will give Rs 10 crore each. We will have a corpus of Rs 50 crore,” Ms Pandit said.
Ms. Pandit said the State governments of Assam, Odisha, Maharashtra and Karnataka have shown similar interests and the university will work to become the hub of efforts to preserve India’s diverse linguistic and cultural heritage by starting a ‘School of Indian Languages’.
“JNU is known for celebrating the cultural diversity of the country and it has the visibility and brand value to start such a school.
Students from north India will realise how much diversity there is in languages in east, west and south India. This will lead to national integration as it will sensitise students,” she added.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin recently sanctioned about Rs 10 crore for the Centre for Tamil Studies.
The Vice-Chancellor said it was approaching different states in this regard. The school will help develop a deeper knowledge about different Indian languages.
The university already offers several language courses. It now plans to introduce more research, postgraduate and diploma courses.
“Under this, several centres will be established. We will not only focus on literature but culture and history. JNU has visibility, a brand value. JNU. “We are India’s number-one university.
In these centres, certificate courses, Master’s programmes will be offered,” the Vice Chancellor said.
JNU on Monday also began a Tamil Heritage Week and Indian Languages Week. The event is being organised to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and mission of celebrating the history and heritage of Indian languages across the country, she said.
Speaking about the “anti-Brahmin” graffiti that recently defaced the walls of JNU’s School of International Studies, she said “outsiders” might be involved in the incident and an inquiry into the matter was going on.
“JNU is a place for everyone and nobody can use it to spread hate and discriminate against any group.”
She also said that the university was working on ways to stop unauthorised entry of outsiders, starting with repairing the campus boundary wall and issuing smart identity cards to students.
“JNU is celebrating Tamil Heritage Week and Indian Languages Week to celebrate Indian cultural diversity. “JNU, as one of the leading higher education institutions working to preserve the culture, history and heritage of India’s past, is observing Indian languages week, aimed at creating language harmony and an atmosphere for learning Indian languages apart from mastering one’s mother tongue,” Ms Pandit added.