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More Tidbits On Indian Languages

June 2007
More Tidbits On Indian Languages

Speaking of Indian languages, the U.S. has more than doubled the number of scholarships offered at American universities. This year, 365 general scholarships (as opposed to 165 last year) and 400 supplementary scholarships are available to students of Indian languages. So far, though, only those studying Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi or Urdu are eligible. A vernacular media website, incidentally, is one of the world's top 10 newspapers on the Internet. According to Alexa.com, which does rankings by traffic, Malayala Manorama (at no.7) ranks higher than The Times of India (at no.9), the only other Indian website included in the top 10.

And in India recently, Madasani Mohan set a new ‘Avadhanam' record when he answered, in verse form using a set syntax, 5009 questions asked by a well-informed audience. Each person had a limit of five questions, but there was no restriction on the topics covered. What's more daunting, the questioner could suggest the poetic form and stipulate that certain words not be used in the response. "Avadhanam is the great art of remembrance," states The Asian Age. "It is an oral skill that tests the memory and retention power of a scholar and was prevalent in Kannada and Sanskrit too. But during the last 50 years it has been practiced only in Telugu."

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