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On 13th foundation day, SU launches endangered languages archive

Friday, Jul 03, 2020 15:30 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Jul 03, 2020 09:57 [IST]

On 13th foundation day, SU launches endangered languages archive

SE Report
GANGTOK: Sikkim University celebrated its 13th foundation day today in a simple manner with the presence of few due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A flag hoisting ceremony was organized at the Kunchendzonga Administrative Block of the University which was attended by the vice-chancellor, registrar, librarian, Controller of Examinations (i/c), finance officer (i/c), deans of School of Studies, heads of departments and other functionaries of the university. Vice-chancellor Avinash Khare, registrar T.K. Kaul and professor J.P. Tamang addressed the gathering, informs a SU press release.
The registrar spoke about the achievements of the university despite the constant hurdles of operating from hired locations. The university is currently working from about 40 hired buildings running 32 full-fledged departments and offering 29 research programmes. He spoke about the university’s improving NIRF ranking and acknowledged the contributions of all the stakeholders of the university.
Professor J.P. Tamang gave a brief about the history of Sikkim University reminiscing about the university’s formative days.
The vice-chancellor, highlighting the progress made by the university in the past one year, listed release of a huge grant from MHRD through HEFA as one of the top achievements followed by recruitment, promotions, etc. that was taken up during the year. He stated the position on the ongoing campus project and was optimistic about its progress despite the pandemic situation that had stalled many developmental activities of the university.
Khare, in his address, called upon all the stakeholders for their continued support.
The day marked an important milestone for Sikkim University, the State of Sikkim and the region as a whole. Sikkim-Darjeeling Himalayas Endangered Language Archive (SiDHELA) created by the Centre for Endangered Languages (CEL), Sikkim University was launched by the vice-chancellor. This, as the vice-chancellor stated, was a way of giving back to the community.
SiDHELA is India’s first endangered languages archive, and forms a platform for a linguistic resource of the languages spoken in Sikkim and the North Bengal. The main aim of the archive is to preserve the primary data collected for long term usage and dissemination. It is developed as a regional archive, follows the Dublin Core Metadata standards and adheres to the Open Language Archives Community’s recommendations. The effort for the development of the SiDHELA was being carried forward under the guidelines of the Digital Archive for Indian Languages, an initiative by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi and Computational Resource on South Asian Languages, University of North Texas. The SiDHELA, currently, has lexicon, sentences, folk songs and tales, procedural instructions and narrations from the endangered languages of the region. It is hosted on the D-Space and maintained by the CEL, SU in collaboration with the Central Library, Sikkim University. 
The CEL, SU began with the documentation of five languages of Sikkim and the North Bengal, viz. Bhujel, Gurung, Magar, Rai-Rokdung and Sherpa. The CEL, SU has compiled a comprehensive corpus of transcribed, annotated and translated data of the five endangered languages of the said region.  Dr. Samar Sinha, assistant professor, Department of Nepali, is the coordinator of the CEL.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi