National Manuscripts Mission to be enlarged


New Delhi : With only a few months left for the National Manuscripts Mission, it will be “evolved and enlarged”, says the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, which recently took over the direct control of the programme from the culture ministry.

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The mission was started in 2003, with IGNCA as the nodal agency, but operating relatively in an autonomous fashion directly under the culture ministry. But, with just six months left in its mandate, NMM director Sudha Gopalkrishnan had resigned following differences over direct supervision by IGNCA.

At a press conference to mark IGNCA’s takeover, the president of the Centre’s Trust, Chinmaya R. Gharekhan was at pains to point out that there will be no dilution in the working of the mission, which has already collected and digitised thousands of manuscripts from across the country.

“We plan to evolve and enlarge the mission,” he said.

IGNCA officials however did not comment on reasons behind the previous director’s move to quit but said they were looking for a new mission head.

The Centre recently organised a four-day ‘brainstorming session’ with representatives of 80 manuscript resource and conservation centres.

“The human resource crunch is our biggest problem,” said IGNCA member K.K. Chakravarty. While the major languages like Sanskrit and Tamil have a large fund of ‘readers’ who could help identify and catalogue the manuscripts, “some scripts have no readers”.