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Like reading old Indian literature & scripts? Try this Bengaluru course

The one-year course revolves around the study of history and literature, and deciphering historical manuscripts.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 21, 2019, 10.01 AM IST
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IGNCA's PG Diploma course in Manuscriptology and Palaeography helps revive interest in ancient Indian scripts.
BENGALURU: The Bengaluru arm of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has rolled out a PG Diploma course in Manuscriptology and Palaeography to revive interest in ancient Indian scripts. The one-year course revolves around the study of history and literature using handwritten documents and deciphering, reading and dating historical manuscripts.

Started this month, 21 students from various fields like geology, journalism, physics and archaeology have enrolled for the course, classes for which are held every Saturday.

“It’s an interesting course and is broadly about three things – ancient scripts and their evolution, their conservation and preservation, and critical analyses of the manuscripts and placing them in a historical perspective,” said Kruthika Ganesh, an archaeologist, who has enrolled for the course. She wants to enhance her epigraphy knowledge and venture into manuscriptology.

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Spread across two semesters, the course introduces students to different kinds of manuscripts, and preventive and curative conservation of palm leaves and paper.

Deepti Navaratna, executive director, IGNCA Bengaluru, feels access to ancient knowledge is lacking in India and researchers often rely on English commentary for source material. “People often complain that Indians don’t write about their own history. How will they if they can’t decipher the ancient languages and scripts?”

Spread across two semesters, the course, curated by epigraphists like PV Krishnamurthy, introduces students to different kinds of manuscripts, and preventive and curative conservation of palm leaves and paper. It also offers analysis of the style and composition of manuscripts, cataloguing, scribal remarks, etc. “There are millions of manuscripts in temples and archives across the country with writings in different scripts. But how many know to read and edit them,” asks Krishnamurthy.

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