The inauguration ceremony was held at the University campus in Haridwar, with Dr. Krishna Kant Paul, Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand, as its chief guest and the Ambassadors of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as guests of honor.
“The Lithuanian language is currently studied at 47 academic centers across the world. Today we are adding one more member to this distinguished family, which is the first of its kind in South and South East Asia. Lithuania ke liye āj bahut bahut baḍa din hai,” said the Lithuanian Ambassador Laimonas Talat-Kelpša at the opening ceremony.
He also noted a close similarity between Lithuanian and Sanskrit, as Lithuanian is considered the closest surviving “sister” to Sanskrit among Indo-European languages. Many words used by present-day Lithuanians are easily recognizable even to modern Hindi speakers, for example: dievas – dev (god), ugnis – agni (fire), vėjas – vayu (wind), sapnas – sapnā (dream), šaka – śākhā (branch), ratai – rath (chariot), and many other related words.
The Lithuanian Ambassador presented a gift to the library of the newly established CBCS – a small Lithuanian-Sanskrit dictionary containing 108 identical words in both languages. The dictionary has been jointly produced by the Institute of the Lithuanian Language in Vilnius, the state of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Embassy in New Delhi.
“The CBCS will pursue two major research fields,” said the Pro Vice Chancellor of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya Dr. Chinmay Pandya. The center will offer instruction in the three Baltic languages – Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian – and will focus on the research of ancient Baltic traditions and culture.
“The CBCS also expects active support and cooperation with the governments of the Baltic states,” said Dr. Pandya.
The CBCS will occupy a separate building on the university campus, containing head office, three study rooms and a library. Professor Sigma Ankrava from the University of Latvia will be its first chairperson.