Mangaluru, June 9, 2015 (TOI): Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy’s efforts at having a Konkani Study Chair will finally materialize this Friday. Thanks to an Rs 2 crore grant given by the state government in the 2015-16 budget, the Academy in association with Mangalore University is now on the verge of dedicating this study chair that will function at the university. Minister for higher education and tourism R V Deshpande will inaugurate the chair in the presence of VC K Byrappa.
Roy Castelino, president of the academy told reporters on Tuesday that while the university will look after the activities of the chair, the academy and other Konkani organizations’ including the World Konkani Centre, Mandd Sobhann have assured the university of their fullest support to ensure that the chair meets the aspirations of the Konkani speaking community. "The setting up of the chair is a big moment for the minority Konkani speaking community," he noted.
M P Noronha, Syndicate member of Mangalore University said in a first of its initiative for any chair that is being set up in the university, the university has set up a 14-member committee chaired by the VC to ensure that the chair gets support of all stake holders. With Jayavanth Nayak of the department of economics as its coordinator, the committee has eminent Konkani people such as Sandhya Pai, Basti Vaman Shenoy, Roy Castelino and others on board, Noronha said.
Basti Vaman Shenoy, president of World Konkani Centre said the chair is reflection of aspiration of the Konkani speaking community to see its works of literature and art reach a wider audience. The chair will hopefully spur greater research in various aspects of the language, he said adding the research could be inter-disciplinary and multi-lingual. The chair should also pave the way for documentation of the community’s culture, language and its art forms, he averred.