National Seminar on Cataloguing, editing and Publication of Ancient   Indian Manuscripts on Science and Technology

Comprehensive report of the seminar held

Date: 26th of 28th of March, 2019

Introduction

The Indian Scientific heritage has been extremely productive. India has one of the largest collections of Scientific manuscripts of any civilization in the world. While there is no precise enumeration of the number of manuscripts, estimates vary widely, putting it in the region of 20000 to 100,000 manuscripts. Several of these manuscripts are now in institutions such as – Oriental Manuscripts Libraries, Indological Research Institutions, Universities, Mutts and Archives and many are still in private collections. Manuscripts are also available in foreign libraries in U.K., France, Germany & USA and in Asian countries like, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Bhutan, China (Tibet), Thailand. Unfortunately there is no detailed and accurate data about the number, extent and distribution of the Scientific manuscripts of India. The presently available published Scientific texts, which are in contemporary use, represent less than 2% of the Scientific literature that is available in the form of manuscripts. However, as of today, there is no proper methodology to know or verify the names, authors or any other details of manuscripts that exist on the topic of Science and Technology in ancient India.

The Samskriti Foundation, Mysore, has, at present, embarked on a project to collect, collate and present information about a bibliography of manuscripts exclusively dealing with Science and technology. So far it has collected and listed information about 7,000 numbers of such manuscripts, which turned out to be a very meticulous, pain-staking task.  Thus, the Foundation has a unique database of ancient manuscripts dealing with Science and Technology (S & T) of Ancient India.