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Berhampur:  Scholars in post-graduate department of Odia in Berhampur University (BU) acquired knowledge on preservation of manuscripts at a special workshop.

The 21-day workshop on manuscriptlogy and paleography, organised by the Odia department in collaboration with National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM), concluded yesterday.

Addressing the valedictory function of the workshop, former Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University of Culture and noted historian Amiya Kumar Pattnaik highlighted the need to conserve palm leaf manuscripts.

Berhampur University Vice-Chancellor R C Das assured that the institute would extend all help for preservation, conservation and collection of manuscripts.

He said there is an urgent need to digitise the ancient manuscripts stored in the south Odisha cultural study and research centre under Odia department of the university.

The centre has around 2,500 palm leaf manuscripts, 50 had-written manuscripts and several pictorial palm leaf manuscripts dating back to early 19th century.

These were collected from different places of southern Odisha in last four decades, said D P Patnaik, coordinator of the workshop.

He said the NMM pledged financial assistance for the preservation and conservation of the manuscripts.

Besides the NMM, the UGC is also expected to provide Rs 1 crore to the Odia department for collection, preservation and documentation of the manuscripts for the next five years period under the special research assistance programme (SRAP) -II.

The department had got Rs 55 lakh from the UGC under SRAP-I for five years from 2011, he added.

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