• Locate manuscripts through national level Survey and Post-Survey
  • Document each and every manuscript and manuscript repository, for a National Electronic Database that currently contains information on four million manuscripts making this the largest database on Indian manuscripts in the world
  • Conserve manuscripts incorporating both modern and indigenous methods of conservation and training a new generation of manuscript conservators
  • To train the next generation of scholars in various aspects of Manuscript Studies like languages, scripts and critical editing and cataloguing of texts and conservation of manuscripts
  • To promote access to manuscripts by digitizing the rarest and most endangered manuscripts
  • To promote access to manuscripts through publication of critical editions of unpublished manuscripts and catalogues
  • To facilitate public's engagement with manuscripts through lectures, seminars, publications and other outreach programmes
Challenges before the Mission
  • The manuscript wealth of India is estimated at around ten million manuscripts and is perhaps the largest collection of in the world.
  • Manuscripts are found in a vast number of languages and scripts many of which can no longer be read.
  • Manuscripts are found in different kinds of repositories—ranging from museums, institutions of learning to private homes and houses of worship, big and small.
  • Manuscripts are often found to have been neglected for decades and in very poor physical state—insect ridden, fungus infected or brittle, fading and fragile.
  • And finally, and perhaps most critically, there is a major lack of connection between so-called ‘modern knowledge' and the knowledge contained in manuscripts. Scholars who can study and use manuscripts are fast disappearing and a new generation of scholars is not able to rise to the challenge.
  • Often, the knowledge in manuscripts is not seen as relevant to our times. Now that there is world-wide interest in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda and Unani, building science such Vaastu Shastra and in older canons of literature and philosophy, there is revival of the search for manuscripts. But more importantly, manuscripts need to be saved for their importance as records of India's past, society, culture and politics—as records of India's memory!