Tirupati, Dec 27 (IANS) The fourth World Telugu Conference (WTC) began in this temple town Thursday with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy announcing that a separate ministry would be created for the promotion and development of Telugu language in the state.
Addressing the conference, which was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee, the chief minister promised that Telugu would be made the language of administration and education. He said steps would also be taken to make Telugu as the medium of instruction up to 10th standard.
He said that three academies for promotion of Telugu music, art and literature would be revived.
Speaking in Telugu, Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan described it as a sweet language and said it has a bright future.
The president felicitated eminent Telugu personalities from various walks of life, including actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao and former hockey player Mukesh Kumar.
The conference, being held in Andhra Pradesh after a gap of 37 years, got off to a glittering start at the sprawling campus of the Veterinary University.
Over 5,000 delegates from India and abroad are attending the three-day meet, which will discuss various issues for preserving the finesse of the Telugu language for posterity.
Various sessions will deliberate on culture, dance, song, food and other aspects. There will also be sessions on films, plays and poetry besides cultural programmes.
Seventeen feature films depicting the greatness of Telugu would be screened at select theatres in the town.
Before the inauguration of WTC, the chief minister unveiled the statue of Telugu Talli (mother Telugu). A massive procession with 1,500 artists was taken out to highlight the rich cultural heritage of Telugu. Hundreds of students also participated in the procession.
About 8,000 policemen have been deployed as part of the massive security arrangements for the conference.
The first WTC was held in Hyderabad in 1975. The second was held in Malaysia in 1981 and the third in Mauritius in 1990.