Officials told PTI that an important aspect of this project is that folk and ceremonial songs will be recorded in their pristine beauty for posterity.

"This is a unique project and its scale considering India's ethno-linguistic diversity is simply huge. It is planned that over 200 AIR stations across the country would record folk songs, which will be preserved for future generations," a senior official said.

The officials said India's folk song heritage is rich but these songs need to be preserved for posterity. Around 5,000 songs have already been collected as part of this project, they added.

"In some societies, the songs are accompanied by a dholak and a spoon is used to create additional music. So when professional folk singers sing them, often the synthesiser takes place of the spoon. However, the attempt in this project, is to record these songs as they are originally sung," the senior official said.

To ensure that the songs are preserved in a proper manner, it has been planned to not only record these songs but also add original script, its translations in Hindi and English, background note and notations.

The officials said that several workshops have been held in various cities to apprise AIR officials, who are working for this project.

Giving details, another official said that last year, a workshop had been held in Shillong as the northeastern states have a very rich and varied cultural legacy. Workshops have also been held in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh and other cities and another one is being planned in Jaipur, the official added.

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