Mumbai University To Launch Avesta Pahlavi Study Centre; Focus on Preserving, Promoting Parsi-Zoroastrian Culture


March 1, 2024

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Education | Heritage

The university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Minority Affairs to start this special study centre in the university.

Article by Dhairya Gajara  | Free Press Journal


Students at the University of Mumbai will be able to study Parsi Zoroastrian culture from the upcoming academic year as the university plans to start the Avesta Pahlavi study centre. The university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Minority Affairs to start this special study centre in the university.

Avesta Pahlavi Study Centre

With the major Parsi population of the country residing in Mumbai, the University of Mumbai has taken the initiative for the study and research of the ancient, rich and glorious Parsi-Zoroastrian culture and from this academic year. Avesta Pahlavi Study Centre will be established in the university and will be operationalized through the School of Languages. On Thursday, an MoU was signed between the University of Mumbai and the Ministry of Minority Affairs in New Delhi.

The centre will highlight the importance of studying and researching ancillary subjects like Zoroastrian scriptures, classical literature, parsi community, Zoroastrian culture and spirituality. Avesta Pahlavi is being studied at the UoM since 1888 and now this study centre will increase the scope of this study with diploma, certificate, degree, post-graduation and research options.

In accordance with the National Education Policy, for the preservation, conservation, promotion and dissemination of Indian languages, the study of Avesta Pahlavi language and culture will also be carried out at the university along with Sanskrit, Pali, and Persian languages.

“Preservation, conservation of rich heritage of Avesta Pahlavi”

Prof. Ravindra Kulkarni, Vice-Chancellor, University of Mumbai said, “The university plans to establish the centre with a broad vision to promote Indian culture, Parsi culture and Indian traditions globally and promote international cooperation.”

“Preservation and conservation of the rich heritage of Avesta Pahlavi, Parsi community’s contribution to national development, documentation of linguistic features and the contribution of Avesta Pahlavi to Indian cultural diversity will be studied through this centre,” he added.

The university has received a financial support of Rs. 12 crores from the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs. The fund will be used to start a language lab, multimedia studio and ancillary infrastructure for the study centre.

The students will be able to learn about Avesta Pahlavi grammar and vocabulary, literature, historical background, scripts and writing systems, translation and philological analysis, semantics and dictionaries, ancient Iranian history and civilization, Avesta Pahlavi epigraphy and palaeography, inscriptions and manuscripts.