ASI institute to include master’s degree in Tamil, other classical languages

CHENNAI: ASI Institute of Archaeology includes master’s degree in Tamil and other classical languages, following a protest headed by Madurai MP and writer Su Venkatesan and other political party leaders, such as DMK chief M K Stalin, over the non-inclusion of master degrees in Tamil as a qualification for the candidate to pursue a master diploma course.

The institute carried a corrigendum regarding qualification criteria for the two-year Archaeology course at Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute, Greater Noida.

“All the classical languages notified by the government of India namely, Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Odia, and Pali, Prakrit, Arabic among others” are eligible for the two-year course. It was carried following the approval from the director-general of ASI.

Congress MP Jothimani applauded the efforts through a tweet saying “We have to fight with the BJP government to even include the ancient classical Tamil language into the list of eligibility criteria for the course.”

The advertisement carried a few days ago inviting online applications for the course, did not mention classical languages from South India. The ad says, “persons with a master’s degree in ancient or medieval Indian history/ Archaeology/ Indian classical languages such as Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Arabic or Persian were eligible to apply for the course.”

The Madurai MP on Tuesday criticised ASI through a tweet, stating that the move was intentional and it cannot be rejected as “clerical error.” DMK leader Stalin also issued a statement taking a dig at the Central government and the ASI.

On Thursday, the CM wrote a letter to the PM regarding the same. After the corrigendum sorted the issue, the CM thanked the PM for acting immediately on his request to include master’s degree.

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