Staff crunch hits research at Kannada centre

Debate rages on over shifting the institute out of Mysore to Bangalore

Staff crunch hits research at Kannada centre

Not much activity is happening at the Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada, set up at the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) here, in 2008.

Also, neither research nor academic activities on Kannada are being taken up at the CIIL. Recently, a debate raged over shifting the centre to Bangalore, a move opposed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Minister for Kannada and Culture Umashree had proposed shifting it to Kalagrama in Bangalore.

The struggle of the Classical Kannada centre is in stark contrast to the Central Institute of Classical Tamil, that had a brisk start during its presence at the CIIL campus here and progressed at a fast pace after being shifted to Chennai.

Officials and experts at the CIIL feel that though there is potential to take up research activities in archaeology, folklore, linguistics of Kannada, ‘staff crunch’ at CIIL and ‘administrative hurdles’ have delayed the process.

A full-time Project Director (PD) for the Centre is yet to be appointed. There are no academicians in Kannada language, following the retirement of R Subbakrishna at CIIL. The Project Advisory Committee of the Centre too has not been formed yet.

M Balakrishna, in-charge programme co-ordinator of the Centre, told Deccan Herald that it is the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) which should appoint a PD.
“In 2009-10, the Centre had advertised for the post of PD and staff such as research scholars. Since there were errors in the minimum age for the PD’s post in the advertisement, the process was stalled,” he said.

He said that despite the shortcomings, activities have been taken up at the Centre. An amount of Rs one crore has been sanctioned for works this academic year. A high-level committee, comprising professors and writers, such as Chidananda Murthy and Venkatachala Shastry, met twice during October and November to chalk out programmes for the Centre, he said. Work is under progress for two documentaries on eminent scholars, Belegere Krishnashastry and G Venkatasubbaiah. The Centre will shortly bring out a book to standardise quality of Kannada.

H M Maheshwaraiah, retired Kannada professor and member of the committee, said that there will be a series of 72 lectures by scholars. The lectures will be published in the form of a book.

“It can be shifted to Dharwad or Gulbarga, as Bangalore already has enough institutes to cater to studies in Kannada,” he said.

Writer Chandrashekar Patil said that it would be better if the Centre is shifted to Bangalore, which is home to many writers. Kannada activist Pa Mallesh said shifting the Centre would not ensure progress.

“It should be declared an autonomous institute and infrastructure facilities should be made available in Mysore itself, since it is a cultural and educational hub.” he said.

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