India, a land of ancient knowledge, has the largest collection of manuscripts in the world dating back thousands of years, covering different areas including religion, philosophy, science, medicine, arts and literature. Composed in various ancient and contemporary Indian languages and scripts like Hindi, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, and Tamil, these manuscripts were written on diverse materials such as birch bark, palm leaf, cloth, wood, stone and paper.
Unfortunately, these manuscripts are lying in various corners in utter neglect in libraries, academic institutions, museums, temples and monasteries, and private collections; and were never complied into a single repository until now. Realizing the need to restore these invaluable manuscripts, the Department of Culture took upon itself the task and established the National Manuscript Mission (NMM) in February 2003. A five-year project, NMM does not only locate and preserve manuscripts but is also engaged in spreading awareness. The mission has already created an electronic database for one million manuscripts even as it has estimated that there are five million manuscripts in India.
How serendipitous then, that this article also ends with a quote citing Google:
As N Balakrishnan, IISC professor rightly said: “Since everything today points towards an Internet-dependent world, one is not wrong when one says, you are in this world only if you are on Google.”
Heartening to see the government in action! Read the full article here.