​State eyes e-pothi route to make manuscripts accessible [2014]


The Times of India 
September 29, 2014 

Bhuvaneshwar: The state government has come up with an e- pothi, an online manuscript cataloguing system, to help research scholars, students and historians access rare manuscripts from home. 

The system is expected to help scholars obtain information on 27 ancient subjects. 

Official sources said researchers can view about 40,000 manuscripts, which will be available in soft form in the state museum’s website. The originals (hard copies, most of which are palm leaf and scripts and engravings) have been preserved at the state museum. Earlier, researchers had to come to the museum to get copies of the manuscripts on payment of fee, fixed by the museum authorities. 

The manuscripts are based on Veda, tantra, purana, ayurveda, jyotisha, mathematics, grammar, lexicons, silpasashtra among others. Among these, the most sought- after manuscripts are Jayadev’s Geeta Govinda, considered unparalleled in Indian literature. Scripts on alternative medicine Ayurveda are also available in the website. 
Ayurveda has four branches – Chikitsa Manjari, Pathyaa Pathya Bhinischaya, Bhasvati and Roga Bhinischaya. 

The silpasashtra comprises ancient method of architecture. “The Silpasashtra is also in demand for its rare teachings on bahya kala (external arts). It has also mentioned carpentry, jewellery. It also deals with erotic arts such as smooching, kissing and embracing. Such rare information would be helpful for modern architects,” said a museum official, adding that e-pothi will prevent the rare manuscripts from being lost as they were stored in the museum in physical forms only. 

Culture minister Ashok Panda said the first and last page of a particular manuscript will be visible on the website. “If the researchers are willing to download the full texts, they will have to purchase it by making an online payment. Different tariffs will be fixed for different manuscripts. This can also help the museum generate revenue,” said Panda. 

For accessing the manuscripts, researchers will have to key in the name of author, subject and category. “If a particular text is not available on a simple search, the researchers can go for advance search, which will have 
more options,” said Panda. 

He added that National Informatics Centre has designed the software in such a way so that researchers can pay online and get the scripts without any hassle. 

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the e-pothi at state museum on Monday. 


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The Times of India 

Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi 
Om Shanti 

Source: WHN Media Network