In probably the biggest exercise of its kind in the world, Mysore-based Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) will conduct a linguistic survey on issues like the status of the country's endangered languages.
"It has been sanctioned by the Planning Commission which has sanctioned Rs 588 crore for the project," CIIL Director Udaya Narayana Singh said in Kolkata.
The project, the first of its kind in independent India, will involve 400 research scholars and 170 language experts, who will be trained at the CIIL campus from May 21 to June 30. Work on the project is expected to start in July, he said.
UNESCO was pressing for the survey as it has been predicted through bio-mathematical methods that 4,400 of the 6,000 languages now spoken the world over will perish in the next 50 years, Singh said.
Though the first linguistic survey of India was done by Sir George Abraham Grierson during 1898-1927, another one has become necessary as the earlier survey had some drawbacks. It was done by untrained field workers and had excluded the former province of Madras and the princely states of Hyderabad and Mysore.
"In the new survey, we will study the variations which major languages have undergone during this time, besides ascertaining the status of small and endangered languages. Each village in the country will be the basic unit of our study," Singh said.