THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thirty years after it was first published, the sought-after eighth volume of the ‘Sarvavijnanakosham’ has been revised in full by the State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications (SIEP).
The big draw of the new volume is a spectacular 400 page article on Kerala, the longest to be published in SIEP encyclopaedias.
Cultural Affairs Minister K C Joseph will release the 920-page volume here on Tuesday by handing over a copy to writer Benyamin. The revised volume is the result of two years of painstaking work by a dedicated team at the State Government-run SIEP. The section on Kerala has 405 pages in all, beginning with a detailed index on page 208 and ending on page 613.
‘’The first ‘Sarvavijnanakosham’ was published in 1972 and since then 15 volumes have been published. Nine have been revised over the years, and the revision of the eighth - which was first published in 1984 - makes ten revisions in all,’’ R Aniruddhan, Assistant Editor, SIEP, said.
The eighth volume starts with ‘Krishnan’ and ends with ‘Congo.’ The section on Kerala touches upon all aspects of life, from demographic statistics to geography to economy and social and political history, art and culture, education and sports. So much has changed over three decades that the volume required comprehensive overhaul, SIEP officials said. Even the way Malayalam is used has changed over time.
‘’Much stress was laid on language in the 1984 volume. The new edition is more comprehensive, updated and contains 591 articles and over 1000 colour photographs on various topics,’’ Aniruddhan said.
‘’Over the years the eighth volume has remained the favourite among all the ‘Sarvavijnanakoshams.’ Normally a ‘Sarvavijnanakosham’ has more than 1000 articles, but the mammoth section on Kerala forced us to cut down,’’ he said.
Various government agencies have provided valuable inputs for the revised volume. For instance, the Planning Board has supplied priceless data, while the maps in the volume were the contribution of the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS). Over the years, more than four lakh copies of the 15 volumes have been sold. Historian M G S Narayanan will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday. SIEP director M T Sulekha will preside over the function.