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The Hindu / Raviprasad Kamila

Mangalore, Jan 1: Twenty-two regional languages, including Kannada and Konkani, recognized under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution may get separate funds from the Union Human Resource Development Ministry in the 11th Five Year Plan for their development if the Centre considers the recommendations of a committee formed by the Ministry.

B A Vivek Rai, Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University and member of the committee formed to consider proposals for the 11th Five Year Plan with special reference to development of languages and books, told on Saturday that the committee had agreed in principle to enhance the budgetary allocation for promotion of books and languages (coming under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution) in the plan.

Rai, who is also the convenor of the sub-committee on languages under the Eighth Schedule (formed under the main committee), said that at present, the Ministry allocated funds to the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, for development of languages. Under this system, it was not possible to do justice to all languages.

The sub-committee had recommended that all 22 languages should get funds separately for their development and promotion of books. "The committee in principle has agreed for the same.''

The committee had recommended that funds should be given to language universities or universities where language development was taking place. Thus, it should be distributed through a decentralised method. The Government could consider language universities or universities where language development was taking place as nodal centres for allocation of funds.

For instance, Kannada University, Hampi, or Telugu University could be considered as a nodal centre for allocation of funds. Its purpose was to support each language. So that each university or institute could purchase books in respective languages and take up promotional activities, he said.

The committee had also recommended for granting funds for development of software in respective regional languages. Stakeholders of languages such as writers, linguists, presspersons and users should be involved along with technical experts while developing software for each language.

When funds were given to a technical institute of a university to develop language software, such an institute generally developed software applicable to all languages. Such software would not meet the requirement of all languages. Different languages needed software applicable to meet their requirements, he said.

The committee had recommended that funds should be allocated for distribution of books in each language in rural and semi-urban areas through mobile vehicles. Such vehicles could organise exhibitions and sale of books, he said. Rai said Hampi University would organise a three-day national-level workshop on "South folk theatre'' at Hampi from January 10.

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