Central to Sanskrit Universities
STATUS OF CENTRAL UNIVERSITIES TO SANSKRIT UNIVERSITIES
What’s in news?
A Bill to grant the status of Central universities to three deemed Sanskrit universities was passed by the Rajya Sabha on after several Opposition MPs raised concern over the other five classical Indian languages being neglected by the government.
- The bill gives Central status to the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Delhi and the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati.
- Several Opposition MPs raised concern that the other five classical Indian languages are being neglected.
- In the last three years, Government had spent around ₹640 crore on promotion of Sanskrit, ₹24 crore on Tamil, ₹3 crore each on Telugu and Kannada and nothing on Malayalam and Odia.
- Government is ignoring other classical Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Odia which are spoken by millions of people, while Sanskrit is spoken only by hardly 15,000 people in India.
‘Classical’ languages in India:
- Currently, six languages enjoy the ‘Classical’ status: Tamil (declared in 2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008), Malayalam (2013), and Odia (2014).
- Guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are:
- High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years.
- A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers.
- The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community;
- The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.
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