The study of Epigraphy is one of the oldest branches of Indology, probably next only to Indian Philosophy. Right from the time of James Princep, it has attracted scholars of international fame, who have enriched the pages of the various journals by their epigraphical contributions. But there was not a single private academic organisation which devoted itself to the cause of Indian epigraphy. The state of affairs was being lamented by epigraphists in meetings, conferences and in writings but no serious attempt was made towards remedying this.
The meeting of Epigraphists at Mysuru in the year 1974, in the presence of Prof. A.K. Narain, gave a shape to fluid thoughts and resulted into the formation of the Epigraphical Society of India. Prominent role was played by eminent scholars like Dr. G. S. Gai, Dr. K. V. Ramesh, Dr. Srinivas Ritti, Dr. B. R. Gopal, Dr. M. G. S. Narayan, Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri, Dr. A. V. Narasimha Murthy and Dr. P. N. Narasimha Murthy. Stalwarts like Dr. Kaul Deambi, Prof. M. A. Dhaky, Prof. K. N. Srimali and Dr. Z. A. Desai extended support. The response to the formation of the society and the starting of this journal has been very encouraging since eminent scholars from both in India and abroad welcomed it.
The formation of the Epigraphical Society of India fulfils a long felt need for the creation of a common platform for scholars to meet and discuss various problems relating to the field of epigraphical studies in India. It was also necessary to create interest in this field amongst the younger generation of scholars in view of the fact that the number of such scholars taking to the study of epigraphy seriously is dwindling. One of the main objectives of the Society is to bring out a journal called Studies in Indian Epigraphy (Bhāratīya Purābhilekha Patrika), devoted to the study and publication of epigraphs. As at present envisaged the Journal is an annual issue.
The Society’s motto Vṛiddhirastu in characters of the 6th century CE has been chosen from a terracotta seal and reflects the sincere desire of Indologists for inaugurating a period of abiding and growing interest in Indian epigraphical studies.
So far, the Society has successful organized 45 Annual Congresses in collaboration with various research organizations, institutions and universities, without any gap across the country and published 47 Journals of Studies in Indian Epigraphy.
Historical, cultural and linguistic studies cannot be said to be complete without the application of the results of place-name studies. A place-name is an expression of the intellectual genius and cultural tendencies of a people. It is unfortunate that an important subject like this, which provides source materials for many a branch of knowledge, has been very much neglected in India, whereas splendid work is being done in the West from the beginning of the last century.
Place-name societies in the West and elsewhere have been a source of inspiration to research workers in the field and have been encouraging the publication of vast material on place and personal names. The formation of such an organization has been a long-felt need and scholar-friends from all over India. The Place Names Society of India, with its headquarters at Mysore was started in 1977 with the willing and hearty co-operation of scholars from all over India.
The main aims and objects of the society are: (a) to conduct and promote research on place and personal names; (b) to bring together all those who are interested in the study of place-names and personal names in a scientific way; (c) to publish books and monographs covering all aspects of place-names and personal names; (d) to bring out under its auspices the Journal of The Place Names Society Of India ; (e) to arrange for the Indian Place Names Conference; and (F) to introduce fellow- ships.
The achievement of these objectives depends upon the co- operation of the scholars in the field and assistance from State and Central Governments.
It is gratifying to note that the first All India Conference of the Place Names Society of India is being held under the auspices of the Rashtrakavi Goinda Pai Research Centre at Udupi which is a center of high academic attainments and religious activities. It was the ardent desire of the founders that the first conference should be held at this place, the abode of Sri Krishņa. But for the academic fervor and generosity of friends like Sri Veerendra Hegde, Sri T. Ramesh Pai, Prof. K.S. Haridasa Bhat and Prof. K. Ramadas, our desire would not have materialized. It is hoped that as the years role on, the Society will take deep roots and justify its existence through academic achievements.
The office-bearers and members of the Executive Committee of the Society, viz. Dr. G. S. Gai, Dr. K.V. Ramesh, Mr. B. N. Chandraiah, Mr. M. Jayarama Sharma, Mr. M. C. Vasantha Kumar and Dr. C. R. Srinivasan have spared no pains in giving shape and stability, to the society. The first editor and secretary of this society are Mr. Madhav N. Katti and Dr. S. S. Ramachandra Murthy, respectively.
So far, the Society has successful organized 41 Annual Congresses in collaboration with various research organizations, institutions and universities, without any gap across the country and published 41 Journals of Studies in Indian Place Names (Bhāratīya Sthalanāma Patrika).