With the awakening of national consciousness in the early years of the last century, a few notable efforts were made in British India to improve the system of education prevalent in India during that time. Gujarat Vidyapeeth, started by Mahatma Gandhi, aimed at preparing youth to serve and uplift the rural masses; Shantiniketan tried to bring the cultures of the East and West into Universal harmony; Jamia Milia tried to educate the Muslims in keeping with the needs of the main Stream of National life; and the Gurukul Kangdi aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the nation keeping with the requirements of the modern age. Inspired by the same spirit, Pandit Janardan Rai Nagar established the 'Rajasthan Vidyapeeth' in 1937 to uplift the down-trodden common man in the feudal state of Mewar. Started as a night Study Centre for the Elementary, secondary and Advanced Courses in our national language Hindi, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth has grown into a large complex of more than 50 institutions spread over several districts of Rajasthan.
Historically, Rajasthan has been a paradise for knowledge seekers, as it has a rich and Royal cultural heritage in the form of manuscripts, historic documents, icons, epigraphs and monuments. Late Manishi Pandit Janardan Rai Nagar's initiative and vision led him to start the Prachin Sahitya Shodh Sansthan in 1941 to preserve, edit, translate and publish old manuscripts. Probably, it was a unique Institute of its kind in Rajasthan, which was established for the conservation of cultural heritage.