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Tamil varsity inks pact with ASI

Special Correspondent

THANJAVUR: Tamil University here has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Epigraphy Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Mysore for digitising more than a lakh estempages (copies of inscriptions) in all languages.

It was signed by M. Rajendran, Vice-Chancellor, and Ravishankar, Director (in-charge) of the Epigraphy Branch, Mysore, in the presence of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at Tiruchi on Wednesday. Mr. Rajendran said the Chief Minister had sanctioned Rs.24 lakh to the university for the work.

The Epigraphy Branch has estempages of inscriptions collected from 1887. Those collected till 1908 have been published.

The Tamil University has taken steps to digitise the ones collected after 1909.

Out of the more than one lakh estempages, 65,000 are in Tamil and throw light on the history and culture of Tamil Nadu.

All the estempages with the branch would be digitised now.

“Sometimes, original inscriptions might have been lost in the course of time. But, estempages taken from them help us in knowing about them,” Mr. Rajendran said. Estempages are treasure troves and digitising them will help researchers.

“We thank the ASI for coming forward to use the estempages with it for digitising and also the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for approving the project. The Chief Minister has evinced much interest in the project,” Mr. Rajendran said.

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