New DelhiFacing flak for slow progress on identifying, collecting, documenting, preserving and digitising manuscripts, the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) has decided to set up 100 gurukulas across the country.The gurus heading them would be retired professors or historians, and be assisted by scholars or research officers. Their mandate would be to edit and translate manuscripts and finally publish four books each year.To be initially set up in 15 institutions to conduct research on manuscripts in various languages — Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and Tibetan — the number would gradually grow to 100.“We have identified nine institutions so far for setting up gurukulas and do the rest very soon. All 15 would start functioning from April 1,” Dr Dilip Kumar Kar, coordinator of NMM, told HT.These eight include the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Leh, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara in Bihar, Saraswati Research Institute in Odisha, Dr Hari Singh Gaur University and Kundkund Gyan Peeth (both in Madhya Pradesh), Thunchan Memorial Research Centre in Kerala, Sri Chandra Shekharendra Saraswati Vishwa Mahavidyalya and Government Oriental Manuscripts Library (both in Tamil Nadu) and Central Council for Research on Ayurvedic Sciences in New Delhi, Kar added.Launched in 2003, NMM has so far documented 42 lakh manuscripts, digitised 2.20 lakh manuscripts with 2.5 crore pages, and published 50 volumes. An estimate shows that there are about 10 million manuscripts available in India in the possession of individuals, universities and research organisations. Dr Kar said that a gurukul evaluation committee would screen the research proposals submitted by these institutions. “Before launching research work, the gurukuls would submit the list of manuscripts they want to conduct research on and the committee would decide the priority,” Dr Kar said.