PATNA: Calligraphy, an art of ornamental writing by hand, which has long been used for writing certificates, degrees, testimonials, awards and felicitations in academic institutions, is on the verge of extinction in these times of computers and keyboards.
Patna University (PU), which was established in 1917, used to hire the services of calligraphists for writing degrees of individual scholars — right from intermediate (till its de-linking from PU colleges) to PhD and DLitt or DSc degrees. This practice was also adopted by other universities as well as the Bihar School Examination Board which came into being in later years.
However, PU has now stopped hiring professional calligraphers and entrusted the task of writing certificates and degrees to employees endowed with a nice hand. More than 10, 000 degrees are being written by two varsity employees every year.
But the universities are now planning to award degrees and certificates to students in digital form (computer printouts and, as such, the services of calligraphers would hardly be required.
PU has already decided to award all degrees in digital form from 2018 onward and also made an agreement with the National Academic Depository (NAD) recently for the purpose. The A-4 size degrees with bar code in digital format will be submitted to NAD and the same would be awarded to scholars, said PU pro-VC Dolly Sinha.
Concerned over the slow death of calligraphy, PU history department’s former head Bharti S Kumar said this art was introduced in India by the Mughals centuries ago and in its death we would lose part of our heritage. Attempts should be made to save this aesthetically profound heritage.