Frequently asked questions

1. Why Tamil Virtual Academy was started?

The Tamils living in different parts of the World, need to keep in touch with the motherland and the mother tongue and be knowledgeable about their heritage in order to preserve their cultural identity and observe their traditional and cultural activities. Recognising this fact and for meeting the felt and emerging needs of the Tamil Communities and others interested in Tamil studies, the Tamil Virtual University(TVU) has been established. This University is now renamed as Tamil Virtual Academy.

2. What is the vision of TVA?

The Tamil Virtual Academy aims at providing Internet-based resources and opportunities for the Tamil Communities living in different parts of the globe as well as others interested in learning Tamil, Science, Technology, Tamil Computing software and acquiring knowledge of the history, art, literature and culture of the Tamils and to identify, establish, maintain and promote the solutions for the Tamil computing requirements of Tamil diaspora, Government, Educational, Media and Business institutions.

3. What is the mission of TVA?

  • To develop and deliver internet-based learning material on Tamil language, Literature, Culture, Tamil Computing, Science and Technology in Tamil, application of software in Tamil for Tamil diaspora and interested others.
  • To offer academic programmes in Tamil Language, Literature and Culture for audit or credit and to award appropriate Certificate/Diploma/ Degree on completion of prescribed requirements.
  • To initiate and continue necessary measures to co-ordinate and pool together knowledge resources developed in Tamil in different parts of the world, for wider dissemination.
  • To help the Tamil diaspora retain contact with their heritage.
  • To develop and provide the infrastructure for the basic Tamil Computing and its related Tamil Software.
  • To provide test, certificates for Tamil Softwares.

4. What are the academic programmes of TVA?

  • Primary Course
  • Certificate Course
  • The Primer Programme with rhymes and alphabet is for the beginners. Certificate Courses, with Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels, takes the students to the level of class 6 (of the normal standard schools in Tamil Nadu) training them in language skills.
  • Higher Diploma
  • Higher Certificate Course, again, with 3 grades, enables the students to reach level of class 12.
  • Degree
  • Diploma and Higher Diploma Courses, with 4 and 6 papers respectively, form a part of the Degree Course. In addition, the Degree Course has fourteen papers. This leads the students to the B.A. Degree in Tamilology.
  • I. Primer Level
  • II. Certificate
  • (a) Basic Level (Equivalent to Classes 1&2 pf Tamil Nadu Curriculum) (b) Intermediate Level (Classes 3&4) (c) Advanced Level (Classes 5&6)
  • III. (a) Higher Certificate-Grade 1 (Classes- 7&8) (b) Higher Certificate - Grade 2 (Classes- 9&10) (c) Higher Certificate - Grade 3 (Classes- 11&12)
  • IV. (a) Diploma - 4 papers (b) Higher Diploma - 10 papers Part of the Degree Course
  • V. Degree Part I - 4 Papers Total 24 papers Part II - 4 Papers 3 years
  • Part III – 16 papers

5. What is examination pattern of TVA?

Examinations shall consist of both Continuous Assessment and Term-End Assessment for each paper. Tests for continuous Assessment will be conducted on-line only after the minimum 12 weeks of registration of each paper. Term-end examination will be conducted only after a minimum of 6 months period of registration of each paper at the Study/Contact Centres of TVA. This will be done twice in year in June and December of every academic year. The Term End Examination for each paper shall have a duration of 3 hours.

Continuous Assessment will have a weightage of 25 marks and Term-End Assessment will have a weightage of 75 marks out of total 100 marks. Each paper carries a credit of 4.

6. How many Students Registered in TVA Programmes?

  • No. of Students Enrolled for Certificate : 9505
  • No. of Students Enrolled for Higher Certificate : 288
  • No. of Students Enrolled for Degree : 4354
  • Total : 14147

7. What are the sections of TVA’s Digital library?

The Digital Library of TVA is developed for the benefit of the students of TVA and for the Tamils living abroad. It includes Literature, Dictionaries, Glossaries, Cultural Gallery, Manuscript Gallery and Tamil Encyclopedia. This section accommodates the entire gamut of literature starting from Sangam Era to the present day, with the following features:

  • Ancient and Medieval literature are given along with their commentaries.
  • The Roman Script versions of Tolkappiyam, Patthuppaattu and Ettuthogai are also available.

8. What is the uniqueness of TVA’s Digital Library?

  • Grammar and Sangam literature are available with easy to read morphological segmentation.
  • Facility to select and read all the commentaries available for Grammar or Sangam literature.
  • Facility to search all the literatures based on numbers, poets, patrons, kings, places and themes.
  • Facility to search all the trees, plants, flowers, cereals, fruits, animals, birds, fishes, etc., special information in Sangam literature.
  • Facility to read anyone or all the commentaries of Thirukkural by Parimelazhagar, Manakudavar, M. Varadharasanar, Paavaanar, Kalaignar and translations by G.U. Pope and Suddhananda Bharathy.
  • Facility to search by words, poem numbers and pages.
  • Provision of a floating keyboard for easy typing of Tamil words.
  • Facility to listen Devaram hymns with music.
  • Facility to search and get equivalent words for either Tamil or English words in Dictionaries.
  • Facility to refer palm leaves manuscripts of Sangam literatures.

9. How many books are in the Digital Library?

2631 books have been uploaded in the Digital Library.

10. What are the subjects of the Technical Glossary?

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Veterinary
  • Fisheries
  • Engineering Technology
  • Agriculture
  • Home Science
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Social Science
  • Anthropology
  • Folklore
  • Politics
  • Philosophy
  • Commerce
  • Banking
  • Management
  • Earth Sciences
  • Environment
  • Astronomy
  • Forestry
  • Geology

11. What are the contents of the Cultural Gallery?

Video clippings on following areas are available in the Cultural Gallery. Temples Festivals Historical Monuments Tamil Games Folk Arts

12. What temples are available?

A Video Gallery on Saiva, Vainava, Buddha, Samana temples, Churches and Mosques are also available.

13. What is Manuscript Gallery?

The literary wealth of the Classical Tamil Language was treasured in the form of palm leaf manuscripts. With the passage of time they have started withering and crumbling. Hence for the sake of the future generation efforts are being taken to record and preserve the same in the form of microfilms and it is not easy to read the micro films. The Tamil Virtual Academy has created a Manuscript Gallery so as to help everyone to make use of each manuscript through internet. Thus the University has protected the manuscript and at the same time provided an opportunity for the use of more number of people. The grand old savior of ancient Tamil Literary wealth Dr.U.V.Swaminatha Iyer had collected old manuscripts with much difficulty and they are preserved in the U.V.S. Library. Tholkappiam, Ettuthogai, Patthupattu, Pathinenkizhkanakku, Iraiyanar Kalaviyal, Civakacintamani are available in the web. A special feature of this web field is a facility that has been provided for searching and also for zooming an individual manuscript for use. Generally it is not easy to read and understand the stanza or a commentary available in the manuscript. So TVA has attempted to present each of the verse and commentary in the print version. With this, one can decipher the letters in the manuscript and also, thus learn reading the manuscript without difficulties. Anyone from anywhere can read the manuscript without difficulties.

14. What are the CD’s developed by TVA?

CD for Primary, Basic, Intermediate, Advanced level lessons, Learn Tamil, Tamil Karpom and Technical Glossary have been developed and released.

15. What is the speciality of web enabling of Thirukkural?

In the CD the Thirukkural text is given in the simple form i.e. the complex and conjugated words are split into units so that one can easily understand without the help of the commentary. Besides this, complete text of five commentaries by Manakkudavar and Parimelazagar, representing the medieval period, Mu.Va., Paavaanar and Kalaignar of the modern age are in the CD. Palm-leaf Manuscript of Thirukkural Parimelazagar Urai is also given for the flavor of classicism. Audio facility is also provided for those who cannot read. Also one will find in the C.D, the English version rendering of Thirukkural, one by Dr.G.U. Pope and the other by Yogi Shudananda BARATHIAR representing the Western approach and the Indian mind. This is with a view to help a non-Tamil reader to enjoy the beauty and richness of Thirukkural. The above commentaries carry the text in its original form. Search facilities are available to peruse the commentaries, individually and collectively. Thirukkural Text is given separately and if you click at the Commentary Symbol you will get the required commentary. The Search facility will help the viewers to access any particular Kural (Couplet) by clicking the number, word or the first word. With this it is also easy to search a particular division (pal) section (lyal) and chapter (Athikaram). All these facilities will certainly create an interest to read the Text.

16. Why Virtual class room has been established in TVA?

As an online education system, TVA is providing scope for teaching and learning with multimedia components like audio and video. In order to strengthen and expand the online education, virtual classroom has been established at TVA. In Virtual class room, 39 lessons of Dr.M.Nannan through Tamil, 81 lessons of Prof. T.B. Siddhalingaiah through English, Samicannou Gilbert A. French through Tamil -19 Lessons, Gnanachelvan-10 are available for learning Tamil. Video lectures for B.A.Tamilology class are also available. All these have taken place in youtube.

17. What Tamil Softwares have been developed under Tamil Software Development funds?

In order to promote Tamil computing and Information Technology, Government of Tamil Nadu is encouraging the Tamil software development. The status of the projects under TSDF is given below:

Completed Projects:

1.OCR for Printed Tamil Text

2.Machine Aided English to Tamil Translation

3.Idham 2000 - Advanced Tamil Interface for Microsoft Windows

4.A PC based Speech synthesis in Tamil

5.Localising of Microsoft Windows 95/98

6.Tamil WordNet to enhance Machine Translation

7.Tamil Linux PC (Zha Kanini)

8.Optical Character Recognition Software for Tamil Handwriting – Phase I

9.Localisation for Tamil in Mobile Phones

10.Java-based Tamil Text-To-Speech Synthesizer

11.Tamil Database Management Package

12. Electronic Dictionary (Tamil – English)

13.Value Added services in Regional Language on handheld devices

14.Speech to Text Synthesis for Tamil

15.Tamil Corpus Analysis Tools

16.Intelligent Information Retrieval of Thirukkural in Handheld Devices

On-going Projects:

Predictive Texting Software Design for Tamil

18. What is Unicode? What is the Government policy regarding Unicode?

A Unicode is a standard for encoding characters of all world languages which will function in all operating systems and application. Further, the Government of Tamil Nadu has declared Unicode and TACE-16 as its standards. Now, Beta version of the Tamil keyboard interface and Tamil fonts have been released for user feedback.

TVA – Part – II Scheme works

19. What is an Annotated Corpus for Tamil Literature? What are the uses?

Providing the grammatical information in linguistics aspects to the Tamil literatures. This will be useful for Natural Language Processing.

20. What is Speech Database? What is the use of it?

Download the e-lectures and convert the speech into text for which software is to be developed. This will help to give an artificial intelligent to the computer.

21. What is Syntactically and Semantically Annotated Corpus for Tamil literature? What is the use of it?

Syntactically and Semantically Annotated Corpus for Tamil literature means to identify the subject, predicate, noun phrase, verb phrase and providing the meaning to the Tamil grammar and literatures. This will be useful for Natural Language Processing.