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Wednesday, Dec 04, 2002

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Dravidian varsity plans heritage museum

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THE Dravidian University, located in the sylvan surroundings of Kuppam and established in 1997, is in the process of further expanding its research facilities including developing a multi-lingual dictionary and plans to establish a museum that reflects Dravidian culture and heritage.

The unique varsity, which was established as a collaborative venture of the Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Pondicherry, has taken up some pioneering work including translation of Dravidian classics of Tamil Sangam literature into Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam on the lines of Pampa Bharat of Kannada, which is being rendered into Telugu.

Monographs and encyclopaedias on saints, philosophers and religious leaders are covered under various projects. And English translation of Dakshina Bhasa Sarawathamulu-Desi, Saint Vemana's contribution to Advaita Philosophy, the contribution of Dravidians to Indian philosophy, Buddhist philosophy in modern Telugu literature and the philosophy and religion of Kaliyan and encyclopaedia of saints of south are among major research projects under various stages of progress, according to Dr S. Damodara Naidu, registrar of the university.

Further, the university is in the process of establishing departments of history, folklore, tribal lore, archaeology and architecture, education and human resource development. It is in the process of expanding the range of courses in Dravidian languages.

Though the university started functioning from a small building located near Kuppam, which is the constituency of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, has moved on to a 1094 acre facility with buildings named after south Indian saints — Vemana, Thiruvalluvar, Basava and Narayanguru with distinct and yet uniform architectural design.

The Chief Minister is set to commission a faculty house later this week located in the campus while releasing Dravidian Studies, a quarterly journal besides Vemana Vachangal, the Malayalam version of Vemana Vachas.

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