The idea of starting an Oriental Research Institute in Poona and of associating it with the name of Sir Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., K.C.I.E., one of the greatest of living Orientalists, in grateful recognition of his magnificent and life-long services to the cause of Sanskrit literature in placing Sanskrit studies in India on the most approved and scientific basis of Western critical scholarship, was discussed and agreed upon and took a tangible shape in the election of a Working Committee for the purpose at a meeting held at the Anandasram, Poona, on Tuesday the 6th of July 1915, Dr. Bhandar kar's 78th birthday. But it would be helpful, in a historical presentation of the origins of the Institute, to trace the beginnings of that idea to certain events that took place and certain plans that were gradually shaping themselves in the country some three or four years previously.
2. Amongst these, prominent mention must be made of the Confer• ence of Orientalists, which was summoned at Simla by the Hon'ble (then) Mr. S. Harcourt Butler to consider practical measures for the encouragement of Oriental studies in India. The Conference to which distinguished scholars specially interested in the subject were invited from every part of India, met from the 12th to the 19th of July 1911, and the substance of the general debates and the recommendations of the Committees and sub-committees and other. papers connected with them. have been published by the Government of India. The main idea which the Conference brought prominently to the fore was that of a Central Research Institute at Calcutta or Delhi on lines somewhat similar to those of L'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient at Hanoi (ludo-China) founded in 1898 by the Governor-General of Indo-China and placed under the scientific control of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres of the Institute of France. The object of the proposed institute, as apart from research, was 'to provide Indians highly trained in original work who would enable schools of Indian history and archreology to be founded her eafter, prepare catalogues raisonnes of manuscripts, develop museums and build up research in Universities and Colleges of the different provinces.