Six archaka training centres opened
source: The Hindu, May 12, 2007
They offer one-year certificate course in `agama sastras'
TRAINING PROGRAMME: D. Rajendran (left) Secretary, Tamil Development and Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department, distributing prescribed textbooks to students during the inauguration of an archaka training centre in Chennai on Friday. &# 151; Photo: K.V. Srinivasan
CHENNAI: The State Government on Friday inaugurated six `archaka' training centres in the State, which would offer a one-year certificate course in `agama sastras'.
Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments C. Pitchandi told The Hindu that to begin with, the centres were set up in Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane, and Sri Renganathar Temple, Srirangam, for giving training in Vaishnavite customs. For training in Saivite customs, the centres are at Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple, Tiruvannamalai, Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Sri Subramania Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur and Sri Dandayuthapani Temple, Palani.
The Government planned to open six more centres. Apart from a monthly stipend of Rs 500, the students would be given free boarding and lodging.
Teachers trained in `agama sastras' had been appointed.
Those who complete the course would be eligible to perform regular pujas in temples.
The Government was also planning to start three-year degree course in `agama sastras', which would make students eligible to perform temple kumbhabhisekams.
He said the response was good and 40 students would be given training in each centre.
A senior HR and CE official said the selected students belonged to various communities. Reservation was followed in the admission.
Asked about a case pending in court on the Government's decision to appoint members of all communities as `archakas', the official said these centres were only giving `archaka' training to students, which was not covered by the case.