The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pondicherry, Gurmeet Singh, congratulated the two former professors of the institution who received the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Semmozhi Tamil Prize from the Central Institute of Classical Tamil in Chennai.
P. Marudhanayagam, former responsible for English and K. Rajan, former professor of history, were the recipients of the prize instituted by the CICT as part of its efforts to establish the antiquity and uniqueness of Tamil, especially classical Tamil, and to propagate its findings globally.
A press release from the university indicates that Mr. Marudhanayagam became a professor in the English department in 1986 and retired when he reached retirement age in 2001. He was shortlisted for the Kalaignar Prize Mr. Karunanidhi Tamil Classic for 2013.
Mr. Rajan became a professor in the History Department of Pondicherry University in 2006 and retired upon reaching retirement pension age in 2020. He was chosen for the 2016 award.
The award on behalf of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr. Karunanidhi created an endowment of his personal funds for classical Tamil research at CICT.
The endowment has supported the awarding of prizes to distinguished scholars and researchers each year.
Prize bears a check for â¹ 10 lakh, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of the donor. The prize is awarded for contributions to classical Tamil studies by a researcher in archeology, epigraphy, numismatics, ancient grammar and linguistic study, literary criticism, creative writing, translation, music, dance, theater, painting and sculpture.
The prize also rewards a unique work of great erudition or for a lifetime contribution according to uniqueness, excellence and international recognition.