Goa's archives, considered to be one of the oldest in Asia, will now be digitised under the Centre's 'Smart City Mission', minister Vijai Sardesai said.

The archives -- a collection of lakhs of historical documents and records providing information about the coastal state and its people -- are presently housed in a Portuguese- era building in the state capital Panaji.

People fear for the safety of these records due to the dilapidated condition of the building, Sardesai said.

"Also, photo-copying these ancient inscriptions and descriptions is considered a retrograde practice that should be replaced by digitisation," the state archives and archaeology minister said yesterday.

But, the archives department does not have sufficient funds for the purpose, he said.

Therefore, a proposal has been mooted to take up digitisation of archives under the Panaji Smart City Mission, an initiative of the Union government, Sardesai said.

The government has given an in-principle nod to the proposal, he added.

Goa has several records in its archives dating back to the time when the state was under the Portuguese rule.

The state was liberated from the 450-year-old colonial rule in 1961.