It is not an uncommon experience that in higher education circles in India Professor S. M. Katre and the
Deccan College, as it took reincarnation as a Postgraduate and Research Institute in 1939, considered as
more or less synonymous. In any case, Prof. Katre surly belongs to the category of “first among eduals”.
The selfless and dedicated services spread over three decades rendered by Professors S.M. Katre, H.D.
Sankalia and Irawati Karve, in addition to their personal academic academic achievements and their
advaitic bent of mind which cut across boundaries of region, religion and language, transformed the
Deccan College into a world renowned centre for heritage studies in a short span of a quarter century.
Using the Deccan College as his spring-board for action, Prof. Katre not only laid firm foundations for
linguistic studies in the country in the country but made all-round efforts to develop at the Deccan
College various infrastructural facilities required for a research centre. It was during his tenure as the
Director from 1942 to 19871 that the Institute saw the construction of new buildings for academic and
academic and residential purposes and also enlargement of academic programmes. Another lasting
contribution of Prof. Katre is the planning of a monumental lexicographical project entitled “An
Encylopaedic Dictionary of Sanskrit on Historical Principles”.
It was therefore in the fitness of things that in the academic year 2005-2006 the Deccan College
celebrated the Birth Centenary of Prof. Katre in a befitting way. As part of these celebrations we
organized a national level seminar for reviewing recent trends in Sanskrit, Lexicography and
Linguistics--branches of language study which were dear to Prof. Katre and in which he himself made
seminal contributions. This was a two-day seminar (19-20 January 2006) in which leading scholars from
different parts of the country as well as the Deccan College faculty and editorial staff participated. The
proceedings of this seminar are now being placed before readers as a separate volume. I thank my
colleagues Drs. K.S. Nagaraja, V.P. Bhatta, Sonal Kulkarni-Joshi and Pratibha Pingle, for readily agreeing
to take up the editing of papers presented at the seminar and overseeing the printing of the volume.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sense of gratitude to the following institutions for
extending financial support to organize this seminar: Ministry of Human Resource Development,
Government of India, New Delhi; University Grants Commission, New Delhi; Central Institute of Indian
Language, Mysore and its branch Western Regional Language Centre located on the Deccan College
campus; and Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi. I would also like to thank the academic and non-
teaching staff of the Deccan College for their assistance in organizing this seminar.
It is true that Professor katre is no more with us, but this is so only in a physical sense. His amiable
personality and smiling face, his example of total dedication to the cause of the Institute, and his range
and depth of scholarship will continue to faculty and students alike at the Deccan College.
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