'Staff crunch impedes smooth functioning of CESCK'

CUK VC seeks autonomous status for Classical Kannada Centre

'Staff crunch impedes smooth functioning of CESCK'

Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Karnataka (CUK) H M Maheshwaraiah, also former director of Centre for Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada (CESCK), Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru on Monday, urged the Union and state governments to focus on the development and smooth functioning of Classical Kannada centre.

Maheshwaraiah was addressing the gathering during the inaugural ceremony of a two-day ‘Visioning Workshop and Project Preparation’, organised by CESCK at CIIL, here.

“Since 2009, when Kannada was accorded the classical language status, funds sanctioned for the Classical Kannada centre could not be utilised owing to certain reasons. Lack of autonomous status and the delay in submitting action plan are the major reasons behind the non-utilisation of the funds. The state government should pressure the Union government to provide autonomous status for CESCK, The Centre should provide necessary facilities to the CESCK,” he said.

Though the CESCK has 37 sanctioned posts of non-teaching staff, only a few have been filled. All the 10 doctoral fellow positions are lying vacant, besides out of three senior fellow and six associate fellow positions, only two and four have been filled respectively. Due to staff crunch, preparation of action plans of various programmes, documentation, digitalisation, research and publication of Kannada classical texts and research works in media, has been delayed. Though crores of rupees was sanctioned earlier, the funds were not spent,” he said.

However, the VC said, compared to Telugu and Malayalam language centres, CESCK is doing better. But, Tamil language centre is performing extremely well, he said.

Awards pending

The CESCK has instituted several awards for scholars and the conferring of awards to the deserving is pending since 2011. Though the list of scholars to be honoured has been sent to the Union government, it has been kept pending. One lifetime achievement award for an Indian scholar, two international awards for lifetime achievement (one each for persons of Indian and non-Indian origin), with a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each and five youth scholar awards with a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each have been instituted.

CIIL Director D G Rao said, that Centre is taking steps to grant autonomous status to CESCK and the works are under process. “But, it is necessary to work together for results. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has to decide on the location of Telugu Centre — whether in Andra Pradesh or Telangana. However, Kerala government has not approached the CIIL about establishment of the Malayalam centre,” he said.

‘CESCK to remain in Mysuru’

Rao confirmed that the Performance Management Division (PMD) has decided not to shift CESCK from Mysuru. It may be mentioned that the Kannada and Culture department had shown interest in shifting the CESCK to Bengaluru.

The director said, a group of intellectuals have been demanding that the CESCK be shifted to Bengaluru, while another group is opposed to it. Finally, the PMD has resolved the issue. Initially, the CESCK will be housed at a building at the University of Mysore, he added. Kannada Development Authority Chairman S G Siddaramaiah and Project Director of CESCK P K Khandoba were present.

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