Vedic University in Tirupati to build bunkers, preserve ancient manuscripts
“The manuscripts would be safely stored inside lockers, named after the donors, in the bunkers,” the V-C explained.
TIRUPATI: The Sri Venkateswara Vedic University (SVVU) in Tirupati is set to construct bunkers on its premises for preserving ancient manuscripts, which would be collected from donors and safely placed inside lockers.
“The university will construct a building in half an acre and build underground bunkers beneath it. Authorities will ensure to create an environment that will help preserve the manuscripts in a manner that they don’t get damaged for at least 500 years,” SVVU vice-chancellor Prof Rani Sada Siva Murty told TNIE. The Vedic University, run by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), submitted the proposal to collect manuscripts from individuals and institutions willing to donate them to the university.
“The manuscripts would be safely stored inside lockers, named after the donors, in the bunkers,” the V-C explained. He added that about 9,500 manuscripts— 6,000 under Sri Venkateswara Manuscript Project and another 3,500 under SVVU custody—were digitised and kept at the respective institutions.
“After donors hand over manuscripts to the university, they would be digitized and preserved in the bunkers,” Murty said. Stating that donors can withdraw their manuscripts after some time, the professor said the university would return the original manuscripts to the owners only after they are digitised.
The university will introduce Manuscriptology, a six-month certificate course. “Under the programme, students will be taught the stages of manuscript cleaning like free brushing, applying spirit and oil (lemon oil) and making descriptive catalogues for digitisation of manuscripts,” the V-C said.
Further, he said, “Students of contemporary generations are equipped to study and research using Telugu, English, Hindi and other colloquial languages. However, ancient manuscripts engraved on the leaves contain the oldest Grandha, Sharada and Devanagari scripts, in which today’s students are not well-versed. Hence, the certificate course would focus and train the students on these scripts.”
MA Systems of Indian Philosophy, MA Grammar (Vyakaranam), MA Indian Logic and MA Translation Studies would be included to the master’s degree courses from the 2023-24 academic year, Murty said.
“The course for Translation Studies will prepare the students to seek general employment opportunities. It will also help students translate literary works from Sanskrit to other Indian languages and work as translators at various companies,” he explained.The academician further said, “Another six-month certificate programme Super Sensory Knowledge will be introduced.”