Presentation on theme: "Dr. Madan Singh Rana University Librarian, H.N.B Garhwal University Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and Dr. Rajneesh, Banasthali University, Banasthali, (Rajasthan)"— Presentation transcript:
Dr. Madan Singh Rana University Librarian, H.N.B Garhwal University Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and Dr. Rajneesh, Banasthali University, Banasthali, (Rajasthan) NACLIN,December 10-12, 2013
The linguistic diversity is one of the important vehicles to uphold Indian culture and tradition for posterity, thus, to keep our tradition and culture intact, a proper care should be extended to all Indian languages in the present digital era through localization of ICTs. The universities, being higher educational organizations in India can facilitate the localization of ICT according to local needs of the society. Therefore, universities can play an important role in use of ICTs in the communities around them, especially in rural areas. Like, Banasthali University has carried out various projects of localization of ICT and digitization to preserve the Rajasthan heritage in particular. Accomplishment of such projects can be helpful to mobilize ICTs.
Such projects are important to mobilize the use of ICTs in the society and would help in reducing the socio-cultural and economic obstacles in India. The role of the universities can be critical for making ICTs useful in the local communities, especially in rural areas. Such process would also be helpful in preserving the Indian minority languages, which are at the verge of extinction, seeing that some of them have already become extinct.
Enormous prospects are available to make efforts at the universities levels which would not only help in preserving the languages, but also through localization of ICTs, the local people will receive proper benefits from ICTs and in turn, as being ICT literate- they may be helpful to the Govt. projects; e-governance, NeGP (India), etc in their localities and other developmental activities of the society. The Digital Library of India project in particular accomplished by Banasthali, has been instrumental in preserving a huge documented knowledge base available in Rajasthan through scanning of more than 93,000 rare documents in almost all Indian languages from the major and old libraries. Similar kind of efforts would be needed from the universities in India to preserve our national heritage for posterity.
Banasthali is a fully residential women’s university, which offers an integrated education system extending from the primary education up to Ph.D. level. It was establish on October 6, 1935 that Smt. Ratan Shastri and Pandit Hiralal Shastri founded Banasthali to fill up the vacuum created by the sudden death of their highly talented and promising daughter Shantabai. The educational programme is based on the concept of five-fold education (Punchmukhi Shikha) comprising Physical, Practical, Aesthetic, Moral and Intellectual education. Its aims at developing student’s integrated and balanced personality. Emphasis on Indian culture and thought characterized by simple living and khadi wearing are hallmarks of life at Banasthali.
The importance of library was recognized by the Banasthali in the early days of its beginning. So, the library came into existence in 1935 and built-up a collection of 1700 books till At present, the library collection surpasses two lakhs documents. In addition to central library there are campus/departmental libraries viz. Jaipur Campus, AIM & ACT, WISDOM & Education, Law, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Geography & Remote Sensing, Home Science, Fashion Technology, etc. This rich and valuable collection built over eight decades has some of the rare reference materials and several important journals. Apart from >10,000 on- line journals received through UGC-INFONET, the library currently receives over 600 periodical titles. The library offers almost all services to its patrons. The library has been using the LIBSYS, and has >1.60 lakhs records of books (bibliographic Information) and 15,000 back volumes of periodicals.
The adaptation or alteration of ICT according to local and specific needs of the society is called localization. According to UNESCO “the Asia Pacific region is home to about half of the world's spoken languages: more than 3,500 languages are spoken in Asia Pacific out of about 6,800 languages spoken in the entire world. The Indian Census of 1961, recognized 1652 different languages including languages not native to the Subcontinent. According to the Census of India (1991) 1576 classified mother languages available in India, whereas, according to the sources 415 living languages are available in India. Further, Anthropological Survey of India has reported that 325 languages have been used for in-group communication.
The great linguistic diversity presents a significant social barrier to widespread use of ICTs. If communities in the region are to cross over into the information age, ICTs must be enabled in their languages. Localization is necessary to give these communities the opportunity to use and benefit from the ICT revolution. The developing countries are still lagging in diffusion of ICT as compare to the developed world. So, we should not see Localization to be limited to interface translation and other basic changes in the computing platform. The localization has a broader scope that includes the entire range of script, speech and language technology to enable access to information for the end- user.
By the end of 2013, the Internet penetration would be around 40% (three billion users) world-wide whereas the penetration of Asia & Pacific Region would be 32%. However, in India, the Internet penetration would be around 13%, whereas around 43% would be in China by The penetration in the rural India would be only around 7%. Low Internet penetration limits to exploit the benefits of the potential of ICT. Nearly 42% of the internet users prefer to access Internet only in Local languages. Thus, with more content becoming available in the local languages, more users will start using the internet.
In India, though many organizations and groups are working to have Indian languages enabled on computers, however, a lot of efforts still to be put in this direction. The universities, like Banasthali University and others are carrying out the localisation process very well and however, similarly, others should come forward to provide a proper momentum in use of ICT for the society. As having the world-class infrastructure and committed faculty and technical manpower at Banasthali University, both national and international organizations have assigned a number of projects on localization of ICT to the University.
“CoIL-Net “IT for Socioeconomic Development of Rajasthan”– a Ministry of Information Technology, GOI Project in the Department of Computer Science & Electronics, AIM & ACT ( ). Gyanaudyog' - IT Culture Development & Women Empowerment through Localised Home Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, GOI sponsored project, ( ) and ‘Gyanjyoti' a similar project from DoIT& C, Government of Rajasthan in Microsoft India sponsored students project: Microsoft India has given the consultancy tasks to Banasthali University for the making of the software projects under five categories. Project 1:- Online English to Hindi dictionary for blind Project 2:-A multilingual Authoring System for learning Hindi Project3:-Akanksha: A web based visual environment in Hindi for children Project 4:- The database translation system Project 5:- A health directory for Rajasthan
Vigyan Shabd Mala" A Bilingual Electronic Dictionary for Nuclear Science, Computer Science & Electronics, 2 years , BRNS, Dept. of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India. Development of Courseware in Hindi for DOEACC ‘O’ Level Courses, Computer Science & Electronics, 18 Months ( ), Govt. of India Dept. of Electronics, New Delhi. Development of web based learning systems in Indian languages, Computer science & electronics, 2 years ( ) MCIT, Govt. of India. Gyan-Jyoti - IT Skill up gradation of women entrepreneurs, DoIT & C, Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur.
The above projects and initiatives accomplished by the Banasthali University on the localisation of ICT and diffusion of technology, right from content creation to tailoring hardware and software as per the needs of the community for their empowerment and use of ICT for their livelihoods. These examples from Banasthali University show that ICT localisation can be done through projects and other initiatives for the society and fulfill the inherent mandate of social inclusion and empowerment of local community, more importantly for women empowerment in case of Banasthali University.
Many digitization projects and initiatives have been initiated in the country, not only to preserve its knowledge base, but also make it accessible irrespective of time and space by Govt. Organisations/NGOs. The Department of Information Technology, MCIT, Govt. of India has mainly supported projects in collaboration with “Carnegie Melon University, USA, under Million Book Universal Digital Library Programme and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. These are: ERNET India; IIIT Allahabad and Hyderabad; NIT Sikkim MIDC, Mumbai; Central Library Hyderabad and State Central Library Hyderabad; Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam Dakshinamanga Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri; Sringeri, Math, Sringeri Karnataka; C-DAC Noida and Kolkata; IGNCA, New Delhi; Universities: Banasthali, Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa, Pune. Kashmir etc.
National Digital Library project: funded by the DIT across the country successfully. However, only six universities have been actively contributing this major digitization effort, despite the fact that: They are the major repository of such resources. Thus, the contribution of universities and old colleges could have been more pervasive as being the major contributors in developing knowledge base and also transforming this to the younger generation. Since, availability of universities and colleges are almost everywhere in the country, so they can, at least, identify the availability of such rare collection of documents around their localities. Like, Banasthali and other universities have been contributing in this effort.
Under Digital library of India (DLI) initiatives under DIT, MCIT, Govt. of India, a project entitled as Digitization of Rare Books on Rajasthan Heritage was initiated by the Banasthali University with the aim to digitized the rare books of copyright free available in the different libraries and institutions of Rajasthan was entrusted to the university by DIT, MCIT, Govt. of India. In the first phase 80 lakhs pages (more than 40,000 books) were scanned and uploaded on websites of DLI and Banasthali University. After successful completion of the first phase DIT, MCIT, in the second and third phase of the digitization of rare books of more than 100 lacs pages (59,000 books) were scanned by the university. Recently, completed third phase in 2013, during all three phases, the Banasthali University has scanned altogether more than 93 thousands Rare Books (more than 380 lakhs of pages) from more than thirty different libraries/ organizations in Rajasthan and some also from other States, like- Gujarat and Maharashtra.
After digitization of rare book collection, scanned pages are uploaded on the website of DLI (IISc, Bangalore) and also Banasthali University website. Each and every book has assigned suitable metadata using metadata standards to make it searchable, so that anyone can search these scanned pages or books free of cost on web sites of Banasthali University and DLI. The search can be made by the name of contributors, keywords, titles, etc. Though the project has already covered some of the important libraries in the major cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur, Kota, Jodhpur and others very well, however, still it has ample scope to get a large number of such documents of rarity in nature in the small towns and villages.
This collection would be main treasure for the researchers and historians. Since most of the scanning institutions/centers were very specialized, so the rare books available with them were also unique. Although the highest books digitized were in English and Hindi, but books in Sanskrit, Gujarati, Urdu, Marathi, Arabic, Persian, Bengali and Sindhi are the main attraction of the collection. Also reasonably good numbers of books were available in the languages like Punjabi, Oriya, Avadhi, Brij, Telgu, Tamil, Kannad, Nagari (Rajasthani), French, and Tibetan.
DLI project has been carried out in more than 35 Centers identified on the basis of availability of rare books with them. The collection was covering almost all subjects, however, History, Education, Literature and Philosophy and Religion were among the top. The old and rare records of Princely States and of British Period have been digitized from different libraries, particularly in Rajasthan University, Mohanlal Sukhadia University and Jai Narayan Vyas University Library. Apart from the above universities, other digitization centers were: SMS Medical College Library, Jaipur, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Mumbai, Prakrat Bharti Acedamy, Jaipur, Sanmati Library, Government College, Kota, RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Chimanlal Mangaldas Granthalaya Gujarati Sahitya Parishad,Ahmedabad, Jain Vishva Bharti, Ladnun, Banasthali Vidyapith Shri Jawahar Vidyapith Binasar, Bikaner, Mugniram Bangur Memorial Engineering College, Jodhpur,
Digamber Jain Atishay Kshetra, Jain Vidhya Sansthan Library, Mahaveer Ji (Karauli), Shree Jubilee Naagari Bhandar, Bikaner, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Arabic and Persian Research Institute, Rajashtan, Tonk, Bharatiya Vidya Mandir Shoudh Prathisthan, Bikaner, Kumarappa Institute of Gram Swarj, Jaipur,Dadu Dayal Sanskrit College, Jaipur Shri Jain Swetamber Khartargacch Sangh, Jaipur,Farbus Gujarati Sabha, Kirtan Kendra, Mumbai, Acharya Shri Vinaychandra Gyan Bhandar, Jaipur, Adarsh Library, Jaipur, National Library, Bandra,
i)The present linguistic diversity in India, with the use of ICTs and localization efforts can be transformed into knowledge-based society which, in turn, can offer an opportunity to proper use ICT and get the benefits out of ICT revolution. Thus, localization effort would be required at all levels of the society to make India as a knowledge-economy country. ii) Nowadays, use of the internet based services is not just for mining and searching information and communicating with others, but, it has become a vital mean for our daily transactions and other works. Conversely, low internet penetration in India, having only 13% overall and around 7% in the rural India (according to the recent reports), which needs to be improved considerably, in conjunction with promotion of an active use of internet. iii) Universities in India through localization efforts can accumulate the native and rare knowledge from their localities and preserve and help in transferring this knowledge to younger generations. Further, the universities can be handy in conversion of available tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge by engaging students for their dissertations or through project modes. Like so, the universities can contribute to bank the traditional knowledge available in different languages, minority languages in particular, to avoid them becoming extinct.
iv) Traditionally, Rajasthan, is known for its rich cultural diversity and heritage based knowledge and now, it is emerging a hub of higher educational institutions. So, the universities/colleges can contribute a lot in the preserving the knowledge heritage of the State, particularly rare literature and manuscripts available in the State. Banasthali University is an excellent example of what the universities can do for their localities and region in the preservation of knowledge heritage. Now, many agencies, like DIT, MCIT, Govt of India and others are funding for such activities. Only we have to come forward and take the initiatives. v) Further, such efforts are essentially becoming vital from libraries’ perspective, like:- for creating technology enabled environment to catch up on the technology adoption front. Furthermore, this kind of effort leads to a concept of ‘libraries everywhere’ which would give them a chance to reinvent themselves in the present age of internet. As a result the libraries can position themselves toward more accountable to the society and can answer to the emerging concept like Return on Investment (RIO) by preserving and disseminating the heritage of local knowledge, as the big brains never go outdated. Further, the project, like Digital Library of India (DLI) has an ample scope to be extended to the small towns of Rajasthan.
On the whole, such projects and efforts would help libraries to show the way to achieve their goals through user-centric approach.