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MSU in fix over giving access to Jain manuscripts

    Vadodara (Gujarat), September 17, 2012: M S University (MSU) seems to be caught in a dilemma over the issue of giving access to a large number of manuscripts to a Jain organization from the Oriental Institute for digitization. The organization has been seeking the manuscripts since the last couple of years, but MSU is yet to decide on it.

    Samast Jain Sangh had recently written to MSU again seeking the manuscripts and the issue was put before MSU syndicate for its approval. The syndicate discussed the issue, but did not take a call on it and it was postponed to the next meeting.

    Oriental Institute of the university has over 28,000 manuscripts collected since its establishment by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwd III. The Jain organization wants access around 6,500 manuscripts and digitize them. MSU officer on special duty (registrar) Amit Dholakiya said the organization has proposed to digitize these at the Oriental itself and keep a copy of the digital copies and hand over another to the university.

    Officials said most of these manuscripts have been given to the institute by a Jain saint around the year 1960. The Oriental Institute has, however, opposed the move sighting its strict rules and the fact that it did not allow people to take away copies of entire manuscripts. Only select portions or around 20 pages are allowed to be copied by the institute.

    Dholakiya said the Jain organization wanted the digital copies and Jain saints had limitations in coming to the institute for studying them. He added that the organization also wanted to put these on a website so that more people could access them and gain knowledge.

    “Their feeling is that not many can come to the institute and do so,” he added. Sources added that a meeting was called by the MSU top brass to sort out the issue on Monday evening, but the stalemate had continued. – News Courtesy: The Times of India

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