International Association of Sanskrit Studies

A brief introduction to the IASS

In 1971, Professor V.K.R.V. Rao, the Minister of Education and Chairman of the Central Sanskrit Board in India, planned the First International Sanskrit Conference. The conference aimed to explore the contributions of different regions to Sanskrit studies and the role of Sanskrit in advancing knowledge globally. The conference eventually took place in March 1972 in New Delhi, organized jointly by the Ministry of Education and the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (currently developed as the Central Sanskrit University) with the participation of scholars, universities, and Sanskrit institutions.

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During the closing session of the conference, with the permission of the Ministry of Education, a decision was made to establish the International Association of Sanskrit Studies (IASS). This initiative emerged from the perception that the existing International Congress of Orientalists needed to provide adequate opportunities for in-depth discussions on Sanskrit and related subjects. Subsequently, at the 29th International Congress of Orientalists held in Paris in 1973, Sanskrit scholars from different countries endorsed the formation of the IASS and formulated its constitution. The primary responsibility of the IASS was to organize World Sanskrit Conferences in various locations worldwide. In retrospect, the 1972 International Sanskrit Conference in New Delhi was recognized as the First World Sanskrit Conference.