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Born in an agricultural family in Tamil Nadu. Dr. P.R. Nakeeran qualified for B.E (Mechanical Eng.) and M.Sc, Eng. (Production) in College of Engineering, Guindy and obtained PhD., in Manufacturing Engineering from I.I.T Chennai. He received training in United Kingdom (UK) under common wealth fellowship. After his education he honored many positions in Anna University, he also held the position of Special Officer for preparing technical terms in Tamil language. He has the privilege of introducing "Mechatronics" as a separate subject in PG level. With his initiative "Metrology" was introduced as a core subject for in Engineering Curriculum. He also published more than fifty technical papers in national, international journals and conference proceedings. He has in depth knowledge in Science and Linguistics. He coined many technical terms in the area of Mechanical Engineering and helped Tamil University in bringing out a Technical Dictionary in Science and Technology. He has published books on science for children, Total quality management and Problem Solving Tools. His book on Total Quality Management received best book award from the State Government.

Mr. P.R. Nakeeran has immense knowledge and experience in the Language computing and Technology. At present, he is the Director of Tamil Virtual University, which is the very first virtual University of the cyber world. He shared his experience with Bhashaindia...
As a Director of Tamil Virtual University, could you please explain the programs and Tasks especially in language computing filed..?

We are very proud that we are the first Virtual University. Our University is started to teach Tamil language all over the world, especially in the foreign countries. We are aiming at teaching from the primary up to PhD level in the language through online. We also do many jobs in language computing area; we are guiding software developers and developing software for improvement of language computing.

Tamil Virtual University maintaining an E- library. Could you give a brief overview on it...?
Yes. We have very well maintained E-library. It is widely believed that library is a website that contains links for books, but this is not true. An E-library should contain all the books in it that may provide links to other but that is not only the purpose of an e-library. In our e-library, we provide three divisions that are Literature, Dictionaries and Other references. As a unique feature, we are providing books in transliterated formats also. Because most of our students are beginning learners of the language, they may speak but not be able to read. So, we providing in transliterated format for them. On the request of our students, we provide cultural details and details about temples of India. As a latest development, we are digitizing all the available palm leaves of Tamil language. People can also read it.
Could you explain some details on palm leaves collection and cultural details available in the E-library...
Heritage of a language includes its ancient records available. So there is a need for protecting ancient things of a language. In that sense, we are concentrating on digitizing the palm leaves. In our website we provide images of most of the palm leaves with zooming facility. Now any one can read their ancient books in the original forms that were made. This will ensure that language tradition is stay protected. Then we provide details of the temples in library. This facility is requested by our students. Because people living in foreign countries are eager to know their tradition.
What are the other linguistic processes carried out by your organaization?
We are concentrating on some Language computing software development also we are funding many projects that are initiated by people who are interested in language computing. One of the main software we are doing is Search engine. Now we also develop books in CD format with search inherent facility. Any one can read the required text of the book straightaway without any difficulties. By doing this, we are also digitizing the books. In our Book CDs, we also provide transliteration texts.
What are the objectives in the future?
Currently we are doing good job in Tamil language education. Any people can learn Tamil language through on-line. In future Tamil Virtual University is targeting on developing a complete referential Base for all the Tamils over the world. Then we are concentrating and the Palm leaves and Cultural details. These tasks will be completed soon. On-line teaching may overcome all other methods of teaching, so our feature may rely on this and we are ready to adopt any change that may be required.
Give your personal opinion on Language computing.
As far as Language computing is concerned, we are only at the beginning state and we have long way to go. Developments in Indic Language are to be done in many ways. In India, we always lack at least thirty years in every technology. Nowadays this state is being changed gradually. However, Information Technology is concerned, we are at the leading state in the world. Even though I wonder, how far this advancement is helpful in regional language computing. In fact, improvements in these fields are happening, but happening slowly. Improvement in language computing field will definitely support national improvement. Therefore, everyone should realize every importance of this field. As we see, Initiatives being taken and the results may come soon. Hope we can get all the requirements fulfilled soon.
What are the real requirements of language computing today?
The final objective Regional Language computing is "giving every information available in every language". Persons who knew only their mother tongue must be able to operate computers and get required information. In simple words, "Language should not resist any one from getting technological advantages and comforts". Until obtaining a state like this, every language is on the improvement state only. When we talk about needs, we require many things in language computing, like Machine translation tools, Voice to text & text to voice converters, Full glossary of technical terms, Implementing technical terms by writing books. These will promote and develop the language computing.

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