The Tamil Virtual University project, during Tamilnet 99 held in Chennai, by the State government of Tamil Nadu came in to function with the official launch of
www.tamilvu.org. Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi was expected to formally launch on Saturday.
A high-level committee set up by the Tamil Nadu government, under the chairmanship of Prof VC Kulandaiswamy, has dedicated this site for the promotion of Tamil language, literature and culture across the world. The Tamil Virtual University aims to offer two level of courses, beginner level and higher level, and the certificates would be given in association with Thanjavur Tamil University.
The beginner's program comprises basic, intermediate and advanced grades and the programs are devised to develop the basic language skills in Tamil (read, write and speak). "However, currently, we don't wish to charge a fee for this particular program," said Dr VC Kulandaiswamy, Chairman, High Level Committee.
Certificate, diploma and degree courses are going to provided under higher level and credits are affixed for each category for completion of the course. "We have used audio, video and animated pictures to aid the course material and in certain areas, we have given explanation in English also for better reach of the program in foreign countries," said Dr M Ponnavaikko, Director, Tamil Virtual University. Currently, the site has over 5,000 pageviews of information and in the next two years, the site would feature 19th century literature as well.
The virtual university also facilitates e-classrooms where students across the world can form groups and interact with faculties. The site also has a dictionary section and library link for providing extensive material on Tamil language and Tamil culture for the benefit of research scholars.
"This is the first-of-its-kind attempt in the Indian regional language and even, sites providing materials on English literature are not that extensive as this," said