Since 1986, the National Archives of India, Union Ministry of Culture has been operating two Schemes for providing financial assistance for preservation of manuscripts/rare books to registered voluntary organisations/ educational institutions/individuals including private museums, libraries, colleges, universities, deemed universities for listing, cataloguing, evaluation, translation and publication of manuscripts/rare books, etc.; and to the State/ Union Territory Archival Repositories, Government Libraries and Museums, for augmenting their developmental activities and for the preservation, publication, microfilming, computerization and compilation of manuscripts in their custody. Both the Schemes were last modified in 1998. However, in order to keep pace with the changing environment and the need based demand for preservation of our heritage, further modifications have been made to widen the scope of both the Schemes as well as to enhance the financial assistance to be given to the beneficiaries.Consequently, both the Schemes operated by the National Archives of India have been revised. The scope of the Scheme for the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) /individuals to be known as ‘Scheme of Financial Assistance for Preservation of Manuscripts/Rare Books’, has been widened to include archival photographs & prints (including oleographs & lithographs). The Scheme would also provide financial assistance for digitization of manuscripts/ rare books, archival photographs & prints (including support for digitization job work as well as purchase of equipments viz. Camera, Scanner, Computer printer, and Copier). The maximum limit of financial assistance under this Scheme has been enhanced from existing Rs.2 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs per project per annum. The eligible beneficiaries would now be able to avail of the assistance by applying in prescribed format, whose applications are required to be forwarded by the State Level Screening Committees constituted for the purpose.
The other Scheme to be known as ‘Financial Assistance to State/Union Territory Archival Repositories, Government Libraries and Museums’ has also been similarly revised to include preservation/digitization of records/manuscripts/rare books, archival photographs, prints (including oleographs and lithographs) and electronic records, air-conditioning of muniment rooms, purchase of computer, materials/equipments for reprography/conservation and for construction/addition alteration/renovation of the building. The maximum limit of financial assistance under this Scheme has been enhanced from Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs.
A one-time financial assistance upto Rs. 50 lakhs is also proposed to be provided in respect of the archival records which are recommended as records of National Importance by an Expert Committee to be constituted for this purpose.
The Grants Committee under the Chairmanship of the Director General of Archives would implement both these Schemes for financial assistance with the ultimate objective of encouraging and facilitating the preservation of documentary heritage of the country. The Schemes would become operational w.e.f. this financial year, 2011-2012.