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In 1891 there was organized activity among the Theosophists in India promoting and participating in the revival of Sanskrit. In 1894 the American Asiatic and Sanskrit Revival Society was established.
In the Republic of India Sanskrit is included in the 14 original languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. Many organizations, like the Samskrta Bharati, are conducting Speak Sanskrit workshops to popularize the language. The "All-India Sanskrit Festival" (since 2002) holds composition contests. The 1991 Indian census reported 49,736 fluent speakers of Sanskrit.
The state of Uttarakhand has become the first state in India to declare Sanskrit as an official language. The Central Board of Secondary Education in India has made Sanskrit a third language (though it is an option for a school to adopt it or not, the other choice being the state's own official language) in the schools it governs. In such schools, learning Sanskrit is an option for grades 5 to 8 (Classes V to VIII). This is true of most schools, including but not limited to Christian missionary schools, affiliated to the ICSE board too, especially in those states where the official language is Hindi. An option between Sanskrit and a local language as a second language exists for grades 9 and 10.
All India Radio transmits news bulletins in Sanskrit twice a day across the nation. Besides, Sanskrit learning programmes also feature on the list of most of the AIR broadcasting centres.
Work of Samskrita Bharati
Samskrita Bharati is an organization working for Sanskrit revival. It is a tax exempt nonprofit organization with its headquarters in New Delhi, India. The International Centre, “Aksharam,” a complex located in Bangalore, India, is its international centre. It houses a research wing, a library, audio-visual lab, and staff quarters. It also has several state-units spread across the country both in the US and India. The US chapter is a registered nonprofit tax-exempt organization with its headquarters in San Jose, California.
Samskrita Bharati functions as an umbrella organization for various organizations working for promotion of Samskrita.
Being the liturgical language of Hindus, it is used during worship in Hindu temples in the West. It is taught in many South Asian studies/linguistics departments in universities across the West. Also, Sanskrit revival attempts are underway amongst expatriate Hindu populations in the west. It is also popular amongst the many practitioners of yoga in the West, who find the language useful in understanding the Yoga Sutra.
The Mattur village in central Karnataka, Shimoga district claims to have native speakers of Sanskrit among its population. Historically the village was given by king Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire to Vedic scholars and their families. People in his kingdom spoke Kannada and Telugu.
Modern Sanskrit Universities
In the last few years sporadic efforts have been made to form Sanskrit universities in India. The list of such universities is given below in chronological order:
|1||1791||Sampurnanand Sanskrit University||Varnasi||Uttar Pradesh|
|2||1961||Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University||Darbhanga||Bihar|
|3||1962||Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha||Tirupati|
|4||1962||Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha||New Delhi||Central Govt|
|5||1970||Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan||New Delhi||Central Govt||Multi Campus|
|6||1981||Shri Jagannath Sanskrit Vishvavidayalaya||Puri||Orissa|
|7||1993||Sree Sankaracharya University
|8||1997||Kaviguru Kalidas Sanskrit University||Ramtek, (Nagpur)||Maharashtra|
Rajasthan Sanskrit University
|10||2005||Shree Somnath Sanskrit University||Somnath-Veraval,
|11||2008||Maharshi Panini Sanskrit
Evam Vedic Vishwavidyalaya