CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Health Minister M Subramanian on Saturday said that the state government has already taken steps for establishing a Tamil Chair at the University of Houston.
It is to be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that a Tamil Studies Chair would be established at the University of Houston during his visit to the United States.
Talking to reporters in Chennai after paying homage to legendary poet Kavignar Kannadasan on his birth anniversary, the minister said, "The works for establishing a Tamil Chair in Houston University are going on. The chief minister and the Tamil Development minister have been invited to Houston."
However, the minister declined to say anything more about the prime minister’s announcement.
The prime minister, on the final day of his three-day trip to the US, announced that a Tamil Studies Chair would be established at the University of Houston. He said this while addressing the Indian diaspora in Washington DC.
The efforts to establish a Tamil Chair have been continuing for the past few years. On December 24, 2019, the then chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami handed over a cheque for Rs one crore towards the Tamil Nadu government's contribution to set up a Tamil Chair in the University of Houston, to Sam Kannappan, chairman of Houston Tamil Studies Chair, the organisation which is raising funds for establishing a Tamil Chair at the University of Houston.
On the same day, the then Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam donated Rs seven lakhs from his personal funds for this purpose. On January 15, 2021, Sam Kannappan also appealed to the Government of India seeking funds for establishing the Tamil Studies Chair.
After the DMK government came to power, on November 15, 2022, Chief Minister MK Stalin presented a cheque for Rs.2.50 crore to Sam Kannappan for establishing a Tamil Chair at the University of Houston.