Post-independence the development of Indian languages and dialects of the four language families became an urgent need. These languages were expected to take on the responsibility of serving as vehicles of both literary and scientific works, and in due course of time to function as media of education and instruction. The state of linguistic studies in Indian universities at the time was not adequate to handle such problems and the need to expand, modernize and reorient language studies became a pressing need. Under the circumstances, a lead was taken by the Poona University by calling a conference in 1953 to discuss these issues in addition to the urgent problem of a common medium in Indian universities. This was followed by another conference called by the Deccan College for developing linguistic studies in the universities with the specific purpose of applying their findings to problems of cross-cultural communication. As a consequence of these two conferences, the Deccan College started a large-scale language project with a magnificent grant made by the Rockefeller Foundation of New York over a period of six years (1954-1960).
Under the able guidance of Prof. Sumitra Mangesh Katre, Deccan College, Pune spearheaded in the 1960s the firm establishment of the modern discipline of Linguistics in India. To popularise this discipline, summer, autumn, and winter schools of six weeks’ duration were conducted in Deccan College and in various other parts of the country starting from 1954.
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