11-JUN-2019: AMU retired Professor assumes new role as chairman, Board of Development of Prakrit Language, MHRD
Aligarh, June 11: Sir Syed's intent on the propagation of Oriental languages including Sanskrit came to the fruition with the appointment of professor Satya Prakash Sharma (former chairman, department of Sanskrit, Aligarh Muslim University-AMU) as the Chairman, Board of Development of Prakrit Language, Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
At the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in New Delhi, Prof Sharma, who is also President of Indian Society for Buddhist studies, will focus on Prakrit by reviving its importance as a language indelibly linked to India's heritage.
The Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Professor Tariq Mansoor has congratulated Professor Sharma and said it is in line with Sir Syed's luminous legacy of pluralism.
"In the new vibrant knowledge society, Prakrit language has started fascinating scholars for a large amount of information is yet to be tapped from ancient manuscripts," said Prof Sharma.
"However, the Prakrit language and other old languages are often dismissed as dead or on the verge of decline. The rare literary treasures of these languages need to be preserved for generations to come," he added.
Prof Prakash pointed out that it was in AMU that he realised that Sanskrit is a beautiful and liberal language and there is a need to work for preserving all ancient and Indological languages like Pali and Prakrit.
The Sanskrit teaching in University started with the inception of MAO College in 1875, which later became AMU. The language had since been taught both at the school and college levels, said Prof Sharma.
He further pointed out that MA in Sanskrit started in the 1922-23 session and the first PhD in the language was awarded to Parmanand Shastri in 1958 on his thesis, 'Development of Sanskrit lyrics Poetry'.
Dr Raghunath Panday was the first recipient of D Litt in Sanskrit in AMU, and eminent scholars such as Dr S P Singh and Dr M M Agarwal have been awarded D Litt degrees in AMU.
AMU has been contributing to the field of Orientalism through research in many areas including studies in Sanskrit literature, Vedas, Upanishads and other epics, he said.
"At a time when people try to ridicule the efforts of others to protect native languages, AMU is making efforts to protect languages such as Sanskrit," said Prof Prakash adding that the department of Sanskrit in AMU which has produced more than 115 PhDs also publishes an annual research journal, 'Prachy Prajna'.
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