University of Madras will offer three fellowships to students in honour of Robert Caldwell, who was an Irish missionary and linguist. The Fellowships shall be introduced from 2014 academic session.
Among three fellowships, 2 will be offered to the students of language and literature, while one to Thirukkural department, as told by R Thandavan, vice chancellor of the university.
Recently the varsity celebrated the 200th birth anniversary of the scholar Robert Caldwell, who had established that south Indian languages had roots in Tamil and not Sanskrit. He was admirer of Tamil Language and had written 7 books on south Indian Languages.
Robert Caldwell came to Chennai (then Madras) in 1838 as a missionary and became in awe of the Tamil language, he showed his love by spreading the language as much as he could.
Caldwell was the one to coin the term 'Dravidian', before his advent, majority of linguists in that era had believed that south Indian languages’ originated from Sanskrit, while Caldwell discovered it to be Tamil instead of Sanskrit.
Caldwell also addressed the convocation held at the University of Madras in the year 1879.