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In USA, Texas University looks into the Indian-American Author Raja Rao’s Works to advance their Research on Arts and Humanities

Raja Rao was honored with India's highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007

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Books by Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Pete Smith
  • Raja Rao, an acclaimed Indian-American author had also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award 
  • University of Texas has acquired his works for further research on humanities
  • Rao completed his education in Aligarh Muslim University and later moved to France for specialized studies

Globally acclaimed Indian-American author and philosopher Raja Rao had built quite an exquisite collection of his works over the years in the form of novels, poems, short stories, essays and talks, often departing from the generic western novel theme and mixing a dab of indigenous ways  of assimilating his material. Today, 10 years after he passed away, University of Texas has acquired his works to advance their research on arts and humanities, said a NDTV report.

Raja Rao
A Portrait of Raja Rao. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao (1908-2006) is well known for his “The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi” (1998), which is about Gandhi’s life in Africa. His other notable works include ‘Kanthapura’ (1938), ‘The Serpent and the Rope'(1960) and ‘The Chessmaster and his Moves’ (1988). Apart from these, his works include a few written in Sanskrit, French and native Kannada.

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Raja Rao's typed manuscript of "The Serpent and the Rope." Image courtesy: Pete Smith
Raja Rao’s typed manuscript of “The Serpent and the Rope.” Image courtesy: Pete Smith

Raja Rao was honored with India’s highest award in the field of Literature, the Padma Bhushan Award, in 1969, and also the Padma Vibhushan Award in 2007. His genius helped him win the prestigious Indian National Academy of Letters’ Sahitya Akademi Award for Literature in 1964 for the philosophical novel ‘The Serpent and the Rope,’ a novel revolving around the breakdown of his marriage.

The Harry Ransom Center is an archive, museum and humanities research center in the University of Texas in Austin, that specializes in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts across Europe and the USA. While praising Rao, the Ransom Center said to NDTV, “It’s a notable acquisition in part because Rao is widely considered to have been one of India’s most noted authors, having received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and other honours”.

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Raja Rao
Harry Ransom Center. Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Raja Rao completed his primary education in the Muslim schools of Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Madras, after which he moved to France to study at University of Montpellier. Rao is known to have researched about Indian influence on Irish literature in his years of study.

Born on 8 November, 1908 in Mysore, Rao breathed his last in 2006 in Austin, Texas.

-written by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    It is highly delighting that such great personalities are praised for their works not only in India but elsewhere too! This is like an inspiration to many students like us. Also Texas university is a huge platform for students to excel.

  • devika todi

    appreciation of work of great personalities, be it Indian or English, is always good!

Next Story

Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

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Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)