‘Digitizing Axom’ a Great Initiative to Preserve Treasure Trove of Assamese Literature: CM Sarma

CM Sarma ceremonially dedicated Digitizing Axom for public use on Thursday.
Assam CM Sarma launches ‘Digitizing Axom’
Assam CM Sarma launches ‘Digitizing Axom’

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during the launch of the ‘Digitizing Axom’ website at Janata Bhawan on Thursday said that it is a great initiative to preserve the treasure trove of Assamese Literature.

CM Sarma ceremonially dedicated Digitizing Axom, a community project aimed at the digitization of rare Assamese journals and books published between 1813 and 1970, for public use on Thursday.

Addressing the event, CM Sarma said, "The launch of Digitizing Axom would prove decisive in conferring the world of Assamese literature its rightful exalted status in days to come. Mrinal Talukdar, the Secretary of Nanda Talukdar Foundation, deserves applause from all sections of society for his role in the project which he has been painstakingly leading from the front for the past two decades."

While referring to the 19th century as the era that led to a new dawn for Assamese literature, CM Sarma credited literary stalwarts such as Lakshminath Bezbaruah, Chandra Kumar Agarwala and Hemchandra Goswami for its forward march saying “The 20th century brought with itself greater avenues for growth of Assamese literature.”

CM Sarma further referred to the 21st century as the 'digital era' saying “Digitizing of rare Assamese literary works would go a long way in preserving such remarkable works for ages. The coming generations would be able to appreciate the works of literary gems in the Assamese language through such initiatives.”

Stating that a large number of literary works have not been digitized under the first phase of the project as many such journals, books are no longer available in the public domain, the chief minister appealed to members of the general public in possession of such rare works to come forward so that all books can be digitized. The Chief Minister also assured of all necessary support from the government, including financial, towards Digitizing Axom.

The Chief Minister also spoke about the efforts of the Government of Assam at using digitization for efficient delivery of public services such as Mission Sadbhavna, among others. "From coming June 1, all files in offices of the Deputy Commissioner and the Directorates shall be processed only in digital format," he added.

The initiative of the Nanda Talukdar Foundation was supported by the Assam Jatiya Bidyalay Educational and Socio-Economic Trust.

Digitizing Axom is aimed at digitizing every possible rare Assamese language book and journal, regardless of their location, and making them available to the public for posterity through the website www.assamarchive.org which can be accessed free-of-cost with a simple log-in process.

In the first phase of the project, that is, the portion launched earlier in the day, journals published between 1840 and 1970 have been included encompassing 3071 editions of as many as 161 journals with a total of 2,45,680 pages. The second phase of the project, under process, shall cover books published between 1813 and 1962.

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