Tuesday, December 9, 2014

24. Digital Library Initiatives in India Part II

इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं - chandrashekhar.malav@yahoo.com

24. Digital Library Initiatives in India (Part II)

P- 01. Digital Libraries*

By :Jagdish Arora, Paper Coordinator

1.0 Introduction

Information is considered as the fulcrum for power and prosperity and very essential for economic and social development of the society. The revolution in Information and Communication Technology has bridged knowledge gap by providing free flow of information. With this technology driven revolution, information was started delivering in digital format with greater speed and economy which triggered in development of digital library. It has provided wider opportunities in archiving accessing digitizing and preserving the traditional knowledge. The open source software movements added weightage in proliferation of digital libraries worldwide. Traditional knowledge available in one and another form was being explored, documented preserved and made accessible through networks of digital archives. The formal project of digital library under the Digital Library Initiative (DLI) was started in 1994 as a joint initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in 1994. Six universities were given the funds for investigation and development of underlying technologies for digital libraries. The second phase of the project was initiated in February 1998. (Devika, 2003). The landmark initiatives that led the path towards the Digital Library movement are the CMU, MERCURY project; CORE project at Cornell Universitythe TULIP project and ENVISION, Cornell Institute of digital collection, Yale University Open Book Project, Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertation (NDLTD), National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (SMET) Education Digital Library (NSDL).

Digital Library development in emerging country like India is taken up with preserving art culture and heritage of India in mid 1990s. India became de-facto signatory of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted unanimously by the UNESCO General Conference at its 31st session held on 2 November 2001 to strengthen the access to diverse cultural resources available across the country. Indian state and non-state agencies in collaboration with the Carnegie Mellon University, Universal Digital Library project of the US-NSF (under and Indo-US Science and Technology Collaboration initiatives) have taken significant initiatives in digitization and preservation of vast pool of knowledge available in the physical forms of manuscripts, rare books, out-of-print books and archival materials and also with neighboring South Asian countries and shared to a networked community using an online platform. Indian universities are participating as members in the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). Library and information centre of higher education and research institutes have taken up task for creating website with in- house digital content like research reports, publications of researchers, theses and dissertation etc. Later on eminently practical approach was evolved for building operational digital library, their maintenance, operations and services. The module is divided in two parts. The first part discusses about the problem encountered for digitization initiatives in India and National Policy on digital library. It also discusses digital library initiatives in form of electronic books, electronic journals, manuscripts, digital library of electronic theses and dissertations and Institutional repositories of India. The second part of the module continues discussion on digital library initiatives in form of library consortium, open courseware, repositories on Indian news papers, metadata harvesting services, etc.

2.1 Library Consortium in India

Access to e-resources to Indian institutions is also available through Library Consortia. Some of the major examples of library consortia in India which provides access to peer reviewed journals to their member institutions are as follows.

2.1.1 UGC-INFONET Digital Library Consortium (http://www.inflibnt.ac.in/econ)

Year of Establishment: 2003
Implemented By: INFLIBNET Centre 
Supported by: University Grants Commission 
Member Institutions: 206 core members and 204 associate members

The UGC-INFONET Digital Library Consortium was launched by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the then President of India, in December 2003. The consortium provides differential access to e-resources to 206  universities  and 150 institutions covered under associate membership prgramme. These e-resources covers almost all subject disciplines including arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, chemical sciences, life sciences, computer sciences, mathematics, statistics, etc.

Current Status:   It provides current as well as archival access to more than 8,500 core and peer reviewed electronic journals and ten bibliographic databases from 28 publishers, scholarly societies and aggregators, including university presses in different disciplines

2.1.2 INDEST-AICTE Consortium (http://www. Paniit.iitd.ac.in/indest)

Year of Establishment: 2003

Implemented By:  IIT Delhi 

Supported by: Ministry of Human Resource Development 

Member Institutions:  325 member institutions including 65 core members


The Indian National Digital Library in Engineering Sciences and Technology (INDEST) Consortium was set-up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in year 2003 to provide access to selected electronic journals and databases to technical institutions including IISc, IITs, NITs, IIMs and a few other centrally-funded Government institutions. The total number of members in the Consortium has now gone up to 325 including 65 core member institutions, 60 AICTE supported engineering college and 200 members under self-supported categories.

Current Status:   It provides access to 20748 peer reviewed journals and 10 bbilographical database to its member institutions. 

2.1.3 National Knowledge Resource Consortium (NKRC) (http://nkrc.niscair.res.in)

Year of Establishment: 2009

Implemented By:  NISCAIR

Supported by:  Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

Member Institutions:  65 member institution


The National Knowledge Resource Consortium (NKRC), established in year 2009, is a network of libraries and information centres of 39 CSIR and 24 DST institutes. NKRC's origin goes back to the year 2001, when the CSIR set up the Electronic Journals Consortium to provide access to 1200 odd journals of Elsevier Science to all its users. Over a period of time, the Consortium not only grew in terms of the number of resources but also in terms of the number of users as more like-minded institutes evinced interest to join the Consortium. Currently, NKRC facilitates access to 8000+ e-journals of all major publishers, patents, standards, citation and bibliographic databases. Apart from licensed resources, NKRC is also a single point entity that provides its users with access to a multitude of open access resources.

Current Status:   Provides access to 8061 peer reviewed e-journals and 7bibliogapgical database 

2.1.4 MCIT Consortium (http://www.mcitconsortium.nic.in)

Year of Establishment: 2005

Implemented By:  DEIT, New Delhi 

Supported by:  Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT)

Member Institutions:  12  member  institution


The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) Consortium caters to the information requirement of 9 institutions including NIC, CDAT and CDOT (with its offices in multiple locations). Set up in 2005 with funding from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), the Consortium subscribes to 5 electronic resources including IEL Online, ACM Digital Library, Indian Standards, Science Direct and JCCC. Other activities of the Consortium include establishing institutional repositories, national making union catalogues, creation and maintenance of library automation software called e-Granthalaya.

Current Status:   Provides access to 1818 e-journals and 14,000 e-books to its member institutions.

2.1.5 DAE Consortium

Year of Establishment: 2003

Supported by:  Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

Member Institutions:  36  member  institution


The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Consortium, set up in 2003, caters to the information requirement of 36 institutions including BARC, TIFR and SAMEER. Funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Govt. of India, the Consortium subscribes to 2,000 e-journals from 4 publishers including Science Direct, Springer and MathSciNet. The Consortium is administered by one of the DAE intuitions by rotation.

Current Status:   Provides access to 2,000 peer reviewed e-journals from four publishers to its member institutions. 

2.1.6 ERMED Consortium (http://ermed.jccc.in/)

Year of Establishment: 2008

Implemented By: National Medical Library

Supported by:  Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Member Institutions:  98 member institutions


Electronic Resources in Medicine (ERMED) Consortium, set up at 2008, is an initiative taken by Director General of Health Services (DGHS) to develop nation-wide electronic information resources in the field of medicine for delivering effective health care for all. The Consortium is being coordinated through its headquarter set up at the National Medical Library (NML). DGHS provides fund for the purchase of electronic resources under the ERMED consortium for Government medical colleges and institutions. Private medical colleges and institutions can join the consortium under its self-supported category. ERMED e-journal consortium has 98 members including ICMR, DGHS, AIIMS, NTR Health University and government medical colleges / institutes across the country. 

2.1.7 DRDO E-journal Consortium (www.dsl.drdo.gov.in/ejournals)

Year of Establishment: 2009

Implemented By: DESIDOC, Delhi 

Supported by:  Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Ministry of Defense

Member Institutions:  50 member institutions


Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Ministry of Defense is the largest government funded research and development organization in India with a chain of over 50 laboratories and establishments spread across the country. DRDO e-journal consortium was established on January 2009 to provide access to e-resources to S&T community of DRDO. The Consortium is governed by a Monitoring Committee having the representatives from different subject clusters and headquarters. It provides access to 568 full text e-journals to 50 DRDO Labs. JCCC service was added to facilitate access to contents of all the journal titles subscribed by 20 major DRDO labs.

Current Status:   Provides access to 568 and 1 bibliographic database to its member institutions.

2.1.8 DeLCON (http://delcon.gov.in)

Year of Establishment: 2009 

Implemented By: NBRC, Manesar

Supported by:  Department of Biotechnology

Member Institutions:  33 member institutions


DBT e-Library Consortium (DeLCON) is funded by Department of Biotechnology.  Established in 2009, the Consortium provides access to more than 600 journals and bibliographic database to 33 member institutions which includes 14 DBT institutions and 18 institutions located in North Eastern Region (NER) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Programme (BIRAP).

Current Status:   Provides access to 682 e-journals to its member institutions

2.1.9 CeRA (Consortium for e- resources in Agriculture) (http://cera.iari.res.in & http://cera.jccc.in)

Year of Establishment: 2008

Implemented By: IARI, New Delhi 

Supported by:  ICAR (World Bank)

Member Institutions:  142  member institutions


CeRA (Consortium for e- resources in Agriculture), an ambitious initiative from IARI, aims to provide scholarly information in the broad spectrum of agricultural sciences to foster  academic quality research amongst its institutes and other agricultural  universities.  It was established in 2008 by ICAR as a sub-project of NAIP, funded by the World Bank. The Consortium is managed by IARI and promoted by ICAR. It covers about 3,000 scholarly journals (comprising consortium- subscribed, Library-subscribed and open access journals) from seven major publishers. The Consortium has 134 member institutions comprising of  deemed universities, national research centres, agricultural institutions, national bureaux, ICAR institutions, etc.

Current Status:   Provides access to 1766 peer reviewed e-journals and 3 bibliographic databases.

2.1.10 NLIST (http://nlist.inflibnet.ac.in/)

Year of Establishment: 2010

Implemented By:  INFLIBNET Centre & IIT Delhi

Supported by:  Ministry of Human Resource  Development under NME ICT

Member Institutions:  3000+  member institutions


The Project entitled "National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content (N-LIST)", being jointly executed by the UGC-INFONET Digital Library Consortium, INFLIBNET Centre and the INDEST-AICTE Consortium, IIT Delhi, provides for access to scholarly content to colleges, universities as well as centrally-funded technical institutions through its four distinct components, i.e.  i) UGC-INFONET e-resources to technical institutions (IITs, IISc, IISERs, NITs, etc.); ii) INDEST e-resources to universities; iii) E-resources to 12,000 Govt.-aided and non-aided colleges; and iv) National Monitoring Agency at the INFLIBNET Centre to manage access, monitor, promote and impart training to promote optimal usage of e-resources and for monitoring all activities involved in the process of providing effective and efficient access to e- resources to colleges.

Current Status:   The N-LIST programmes provides access  to Web of Science for universities, Annual Reviews (33 journal titles), Nature (27 journal titles), Project Muse (400+ journal titles), Taylor & Francis and JSTOR (2000) journals for 35 technical institutions including selected IITs, IISc, IISERs and NITs. Besides, provides access to more than 6,000 e-journals and 97,333 e-books to colleges.

DAE Consortium, IIM Consortium, RGUHS-HELINET, FORSA Consortium are also in operation in India.

2.2.1 NPTEL (www.nptel.iitm.ac.in, http://youtube.com/nptelhrd/)

Implemented By: Indian Institute of Technology Madras (Web Coordinator); Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (Video Coordinator) Participating Institutions: Indian Institutes of Technology (seven IITs such as IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, and IIT Roorkee) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore

Supported By:  Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) (www.nptel.iitm.ac.in) is an open courseware initiative by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). This initiative is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The main objective of this programme is to enhance the quality of engineering education in the country by developing more than 200 curricula-based video and web courses.

2.2.2 e-Gyankosh (www.egyankosh.ac.in)

Implemented By: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi

Partner Institutions: Distance Education Council; India EDUSAT

Supported By: Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India


Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is a mega open university that offers distance and open education to millions of learners in India and other countries. It  produces self-instructional study materials for various programmes and also hosts a number of educational broadcasting channels. IGNOU has initiated the establishment of a National Digital Repository of learning resources eGyankosh. This repository envisages to store, index, preserve, distribute and share the digital learning resources of open and distance learning (ODL) institutions in the country: The repository supports seamless aggregation and integration of learning resources in different formats such as self-instructional study materials, audio-video programmes, and archives of radio and television-based live interactive sessions.

2.2.3 Learning Object Repository CEC (www.cec-lor.edu.in)

Implemented By: Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), New Delhi

Partner Institutions: University Grants Commission (UGC), Educational Multimedia 2 Research Centres (EM RC), Audio Visual Research Centre (AVRC), Vyas Channel on Gyan Darshan (24 hours Higher Educational Channel)

Supported By: Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India
Alternative URL: www.cec-lor.edu.in
Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) is an inter-university centre on electronic media, established by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The CEC in coordination with its 17 Educational Multimedia Research Centres, has been producing television programmes in various subject categories in English, Hindi and regional languages. Some of the audio-visual programmes are based on syllabus-based topics at the school, polytechnic, college and university levels. CEC established the Learning Object Repository (LOR) and the Digital Video Repository (DVR) to provide worldwide access to these qualitative learning resources. The LOR is a bank of short duration reusable learning objects for special benefits to students and teachers for face to face learning as well as to other users globally. The streaming video technique is used for online viewing of these learning objects. The LOR portal can be searched by subject, topic, title of the learning object, and keywords. This portal can also be navigated through subject categories.

2.2.4 ePG Pathshala (http://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/about.php)

Implemented By: UGC and INFLIBNET Centre 

Supported By: NME-ICT, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India


The MHRD, under NME-ICT has allocated funds to the UGC for development of e-content in 77 subjects at postgraduate level.  The INFLIBNET Centre is assigned the responsibility for technical and administrative coordination of the programme as per the guidelines of Standing Committee, e-PG Pathshala. High quality, curriculum-based, interactive content in different subjects across all disciplines of social sciences, arts, fine arts & humanities, natural & mathematical sciences, linguistics and languages is being developed under this initiative named e-PG Pathshala.

2.2.5 Indo-German eGurukul on Digital Libraries (http://drtc.isibang.ac.in/mmb/)

Implemented By: Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC), Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore

Supported By: Goethe-Institut in New Delhi


The Indo-German eGurukul on Digital Libraries is a collaborative project of DRTC and Goethe-Institut in New Delhi to facilitate self-paced learning on digital libraries.

2.3 Digital Library of Newspapers

Table given below provides link to repositories of Indian Newspapers

2.4 Digital Library of Data Harvesting

Metadata harvesting service harvests or indexes metadata from OAI-compliant archives or repositories through harvesting software that supports a protocol known as OAI-PMH (Open Access Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). Table given below lists metadata harvesting services experimented by Indian institutions.
Name of Harvester
Implemented By
Supported By
Cross Archive Search Service for Indian Repositories (CASSIR)
NCSI, IISc Bangalore
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of
Science and Technology, Government of India
The CASSIR has record from 18 major Indian repositories
Open Index Initiative 
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development research, Mumbai
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Reserve Bank
of India, Government of India
Open Archive Initiative is a cooperative initiative to index social science literature published in India
Open J-Gate
Informatics (India) Ltd

It covers 4047open access academic, research and industry journals  including 2000+ peer reviewed journals
Indian Medlars Centre, NIC New Delhi

IIT Delhi

The SEED currently has papers from 4 Indian Open Access Archives
Scientific Journal Publishing in India: Indexing and Online Management
National Centre for Science Information (NCSI), Indian
Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore
Pan Asia Networking, IDRC, Canada; Asian Media and Information
Centre (AMIC), Singapore; Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP.net),
UNDP; Internet Society, USA; Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), Australia
It harvests metadata from the sample full-text contents of
participating Indian scholarly journals.
Search Digital Libraries (SDL)
Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC), Indian
Statistical Institute, Bangalore
Indian Statistical Institute, Government of India
The SDL currently has 40954records from 18 national and internation repositories  in area of information management, knowledge management, documentation, communication and ICT

2.5.1 Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) (www.tkdl.res.in)

Implemented By: National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi

Participating Institutions: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India; Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India; SAARC Documentation Centre, India

Supported By:  Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

Brief Description

TKDL is a collaborative project of the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ministry of Science & Technology and Department of AYUSH, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which this is being implemented at NISCAIR. The project documents the public domain traditional knowledge related to Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha, in five international languages: English, German, French, Japanese, and Spanish. TKDL is India's effort to protect its traditional medicine from foreign pharmaceutical companies who might try to copyright such medicine. TDKL will serve not merely as a source of protection for intellectual property but also as a means by which its researchers can further study and document the scientific underpinnings of the medicines and remedies in the collection.

Current Status:

2.5.2 Archives of Indian Labour (http://www.indialabourarchives.org/)

Implemented By: V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, Noida

Participating Institutions: Association of Indian Labour Historians, Delhi; N. M. Joshi Centre for Labour Research and Education; Workers' Education Trust, Chennai; Roja Muthiah Research Library, Chennai; SARAI- A New Media Initiative, Center for Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi

Supported By: Ministry of Labour, Government of India


The Archives of Indian Labour were created by the V.V. Giri National Labour Institute and the Association of Indian Labour Historians (AILH). The archive preserves documents, builds collections, and initiates research in labour history. The collections include documents from different organizations. Documents from labour movements are included, as well as personal accounts and memories of labour leaders and workers. The archive uses Greenstone, an open-source digital library system, to integrate text, audio, and video.

Besides, National Health Information Collaboration (NHIC), URDIP: CSIR Unit for Research & Development for Information Products , Central Secretariat Library, Nalanda Digital Library at NIT Calicut, Digitization of Debates of Parliaments, Digital Library of art Masterpieces , Mobile Digital Library (Dware Dware Gyan Sampada) , National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, National Resource Centre for Women, Raman Research Institute, Digitization of art and culture, National Library Kolkatta are some examples of National Digital Libraries in India.

3.0 Summary

With the availability of advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) and information infrastructure, India becomes an active contributor in digital library movement by digitizing and providing free access traditional knowledge, century-old publications and rare documents, theses and dissertation and journals available in Indian libraries. Library consortia, Open courseware and cross-archive search services are being developed by different organizations of india.  India has spearheaded the digital library movement in developing countries. 


Ambati, V., N.Balakrishnan, Reddy, R., Pratha, L., Jawahar, C.V. (2006) The Digital Library of India Project: Process, Policies and Architecture. In: Second International Conference on Digital Libraries(ICDL).

Arora, J., & Bhattacharya, P. (2002). Digital library development in India: A case study of the development at the Central Library of IIT Delhi. In: Proceedings of the  National Conference on Information Management in e-Libraries (IMeL 2002), IIT Kharagpur, Kharagpur.

Bhattacharya, P. (2004). Advances in digital library initiatives: a developing country perspective. The International Information & Library Review, 36 (3):165–175.

Das, Anup Kumar. (2008). Open Access to Knowledge and Information: Scholarly Literature and Digital Library Initiatives,- the South Asian Scenario. (Eds: Bimal Kanti Sen and Jocelyne Josiah), UNESCO, New Delhi, 137.

Jeevan, V.K.J. (2004). Digital library development: identifying sources of content for developing countries with special reference to India. The International Information & Library Review, 36: 185–197.

Madalli, Devika P. (2003). Digital Libraries and Digital Library Initiatives, Digital Libraries: Theory and Practice, DRTC, Bangalore.

National Task Force on Information Technology and National Development, Government of India. (1999). IT action plan (Part III): Long term national IT policy. Chapter 5: Content creation industry. Retrieved July 25, 2006. form http://it-taskforce.nic.in/actplan3/chap5.htm

P.K. Jain, P. K. and Babbar,  Parveen. (2006). Digital libraries initiatives in India, the International Information & Library Review, 38:161–169.

Websites (Last visited on 18 December 2013)
http://www. Paniit.iitd.ac.in/indest
http://cera.iari.res.in  & http://cera.jccc.in
www.nptel.iitm.ac.in, http://youtube.com/nptelhrd/


Access: ongoing usability of a digital resource, retaining all qualities of authenticity, accuracy and functionality deemed to be essential for the purposes the digital material was created and/or acquired for.

Archive: i) an organization whose function is the preservation of resources, either for a specific community of users, or for the general good; ii) the collection of resources so preserved.

Courseware: Open Courseware is the name given to open educational resources that are presented in course format, often including course planning materials, such as syllabi and course calendars, along with content, such as textbooks, lectures, presentations, notes and simulations.

OAI (Open Archives Initiative): An organization dedicated to managing and promoting the open access for the good of the community. 

OAI-complaint: A digital repository complaint to Open Access Initiative Protocol on Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting): De facto standard protocol for harvesting metadata from open access repositories.

Library Consortium: A library cooperative constituted by a group of libraries, preferably with some homogeneous characteristics by subject, or institutional affiliation, or affiliation to funding authorities, who join together with the primary objective of providing expanded access to information resources needed by its user community through a process of pooling and sharing information and infrastructure resources with due adherence to copyright compliances.

Vedic Chant: The oral tradition of the Vedas (Śrauta) consists of several pathas, "recitations" or ways of chanting the Vedic mantras. Such traditions of Vedic chant are often considered the oldest unbroken oral tradition in existence, the fixation of the Vedic texts (samhitas) as preserved dating to roughly the time of Homer.

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