Digitization of Cultural Academy Books Gets Govt Nod

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‘Emphasizes on preserving State’s memorabilia for posterity’

SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday gave nod to the digitalization of reference books in the J&K State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages and directed for release of Rs. 35 lakhs for the purpose. He said the preservation and conservation of State’s rich treasure of art, culture, heritage and literature is need of the hour.

“Our present and future generations should be well-versed with the history and cultural diversity of our State and well-preserved documentations of memorabilia and reference books would act as valuable treasure for them in this regard”, he said and approved the digitalization of 6,300 books with approximately 25.50 lakh pages. The project will cost Rs. 70 lakhs as per the proposal presented by the J&K State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in its Central Committee meeting chaired by the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister who is also the President of the Academy has earlier approved the digitalization of manuscripts, paintings, miniatures, calligraphy specimen and photographs of the Academy to preserve these for posterity.

Omar Abdullah received brief on the construction of Tehzeeb Mehal, renovation and repairs of Tagore Hall and Abhinav Theatre. He also received details of the major activities being undertaken by the Cultural Academy to promote literature, art, culture and heritage. He said the people associated with this stupendous sector need to be facilitated and helped to pursue their goals. He said new generation of writers and artists also need to be encouraged to endeavour in this field and make their mark.

The meeting discussed matters pertaining to the creation of editors for various languages, constitution of panel of reviewers, revalidation of various committees, framing of rules, amendment to rules, removal of anomaly in administrative and editorial cadres, constitution of Editorial Board for English-Dogri and English-Kashmiri dictionaries, outsourcing of projects, in-hand publications and digitalization of reference books.

The Secretary J&K State Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Khalid Bashir Ahmad presented detailed account of the activities undertaken by the Academy since June 2012 to promote various disciplines and upgrade the functional status of various units of the Academy.

He said that foundation of Rs. 72 crore Tehzeeb Mehal has already been laid; digitalization of manuscripts, paintings, miniatures, calligraphy specimen, photographs to electronically preserve these for posterity has been completed under the directions of the Chief Minister. He thanked Omar Abdullah for approving digitalization of reference books and directing for release of funds for the same. He also mentioned the issuance of 12 page multi-colour News-letter by the Academy exclusively dedicated to art, culture and literary activities. He said six issues of the said News-letter ‘Saqafat’ have so far been issued. He also mentioned the Chief Minister’s approval for creation of Corps Fund for welfare of the artists and writers and thanked the Chief Minister for same.

Khalid Bashir also briefed the meeting about the activities undertaken by the Academy for promotion of languages, art, culture, publications and gave details of the activities undertaken in these and other fields during the last year.

Minister for Culture, Raman Bhalla, Members of the Central Committee, various Administrative Secretaries and senior officers were present in the meeting.

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