MumbaiOn the occasion of Marathi Language Day, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis provided a land grant in Bandra Bandstand to Granthali, a well-known Marathi publishing house, to set-up the first Marathi language university in the state. This comes around one-and-a-half years after the publishing house had approached Ashish Shelar, Bandra legislator and president of Mumbai Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit, to seek space to run a university and a research institute. “When people from Granthali approached me, I realised that there was some space in my constituency which could be used for dispensing knowledge, which is how we started the procedure of acquiring this land,” said Shelar. The area allocated to them is approximately 1,000 sq ft of land which was reserved for a library. Granthali will now take over the procedure of forming the committee and setting up the university. However, there is still no clarity on when the university will start its operations. Sudesh Hinglaspurkar, trustee, Granthali publications, said they approached the CM and Shelar regarding the proposal, and have been the given the land on lease for 30 years.“We will first need to see the area that has been allotted to us. After that, we plan to conduct workshops on Marathi language and will set up a digital library,” said said Hinglaspurkar. CM Devendra Fadnavis said that the government was working on promoting Marathi as the ‘language of knowledge’. “We have approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get Marathi the status of a classy language. While the procedure is pending with the central government, we are hoping that we will get a clearance soon,” said Fadnavis.