Proposal to CESCK to prepare textbooks stirs controvers

Proposal to CESCK to prepare textbooks stirs controversy

The Central Institute of Indian Languages building on Hunsur Road in Mysuru. DH FILE PHOTO

A remark by the director of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Venkateshmurthy that the Classical Language Centres should help the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in preparing textbooks for 6th to 12th standard, in a recent meeting of Planning-cum-Monitoring Board (PMB) of Classical Languages, has stirred a hornets nest.

A few dissatisfied members of the PMB from Karnataka, have written a letter to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), urging the government to safeguard the autonomy and dignity of the Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada (CESCK).

Academy members, some of who were active in the movement, seeking classical status for Kannada, on par with Tamil said that the CESCK was established to research on Kannada language, its literature, culture and heritage. "Reducing it to mere preparing of textbooks will mar its core objective. The CESCK should concentrate on its core objective of research, as per the 2011 guidelines of MHRD and march towards attaining autonomy. Members of Telugu PMB also have joined us, in raising the concern, to write a letter to the MHRD,” they said.

The letter states, besides research, the CESCK can prepare textbooks, but this responsibility should not be at the cost of research. Besides, the PMB members have opposed the process for new appointment of senior and junior research staff to CESCK, before the term of the existing researchers is completed.

“The CIIL has issued a notification that the term of the existing researchers ends on December 31. But, in the same CIIL, there are researchers who are working since over 25 years. Why is the CIIL in a hurry, to end the term of the researchers of CESCK, to two years, while the projects on which they are working, are yet to be completed?” PMB members ask.

Meanwhile, CIIL Director Venkateshmurthy said that he did not ask the CESCK to restrict to preparing textbooks. “Some people are unnecessarily creating confusion over the issue. When I receive the letter, written by the PMB members to the MHRD, I will see it and give a proper reply,” he said.