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GU Portuguese chair to spell good for Konkani

PANAJI: The Consul General of Portugal in Goa, Dr Rui Carvalho Baceira on Monday said  the Portuguese chair being set up at the Goa University would  facilitate comparative studies between Portuguese language and the local languages, mainly Konkani, apart from being a seat of higher studies in Portuguese.

Interestingly, around 2,000 Portuguese words are used in the Konkani vocabulary for regular use in the state.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Dr Baceira said  the chair named as the ‘Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha Rivara Chair in Portuguese Studies and Indo-Portuguese Comparative Studies’  will start functioning from early 2016.

“The Camões Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, Portugal will provide assistance to the Goa University in the functioning of the chair,” he added.

“The chair is named after Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha Rivara, a 19th-century Portuguese physician, professor, intellectual and politician,” the Consul General of Portugal in Goa recalled.

“In fact, Dr Rivara excelled as a scholar of the history of the Portuguese presence in India and was a champion of Konkani language,” he noted.

The Goa University will sign a memorandum of agreement  with the Portuguese organisation to regulate and administer the operative aspects of the chair. Furthermore, in order to implement and develop the chair, the Camões Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua is set to provide a grant of 10,000 Euros annually to Goa University.

Dr Baceira said  the chair would work towards helping the students in mastering the Portuguese language, as well as provide a depth to their Portuguese studies. “The chair will also support Ph D and Masters programmes by offering conditions to develop research projects at M Phil and Ph D levels in the fields of teaching/ learning of Portuguese as foreign language in the Indian context, and Indo-Portuguese comparative studies mainly in linguistics, translation and literature,” he observed.

It was also mentioned that the Portuguese chair at the Goa University will be provided with linguistic experts as well as teachers from Portugal, from time to time.

The Consul General of Portugal in Goa informed that the chair would mainly focus on the state of Goa, and students, scholars and well as researchers of Portuguese studies/ programmes from around the state would be able to take advantage of the same.

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