University Of Houston Renews Agreement With ICCR To Establish Indian Studies Chair For Tamil Language, Literature, And Culture

University Of Houston Renews Agreement With ICCR To Establish Indian Studies Chair For Tamil Language, Literature, And Culture

The chair aims to teach and conduct research on Tamil language, literature and culture at the University of Houston.

PTIUpdated: Monday, March 25, 2024, 01:42 PM IST
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University Of Houston Renews Agreement With ICCR To Establish Indian Studies Chair For Tamil Language, Literature, And Culture | Freepik

HOUSTON: The University of Houston and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations have renewed an agreement that paves the way for the setup of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies to conduct research on Tamil language, literature and culture. The agreement was signed last year but was renewed for another year at a ceremony held early this week at the University of Houston, between its chancellor and president Renu Khator and consul general of India in Houston, DC Manjunath.

The chair aims to teach and conduct research on Tamil language, literature and culture at the University of Houston. The establishment of the chair was welcomed by the leaders in the joint declaration issued after prime minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in June 2023. As per the agreement, T Vijayalakshmi, the visiting chair professor from India, has been teaching a curated Tamil language and culture course at the university for the last two semesters.

"Having knowledge and appreciation for different cultures is a hallmark of an enlightened and advanced society. That’s why I’m so grateful that the Indian Council for Cultural Relations has renewed our visiting scholar’s partnership. It enhances our students’ depth of knowledge and gives them a competitive advantage internationally,” Renu Khator, the first Indian-American to lead a major research university in the US since 2008, told PTI.

Manjunath said that the “addendum will further enhance and deepen the India-US education and knowledge partnership”. UH is only the third American university to partner with the ICCR on its global Indian Chairs Abroad programme, along with Rutgers University and the University of Pittsburgh. The Tamil language is one of the top five languages spoken in the United States, which is home to nearly 3,00,000 Tamil Americans. Classes in Tamil Studies began for the first cohort of students at University of Houston.

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