In the recently concluded international workshop jointly held by UNESCO and the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) under the leadership of IIT Kharagpur, NDLI announced to go global through international collaborations with the world’s top digital libraries keeping up to its motto of ‘Open and Inclusive’.
The Workshop deliberated on the state-of-the-art technology, practices, and policies as internationally accepted and available for digital library design. About 200 domain experts from India and abroad participated in the Workshop including representatives from Microsoft Research, Google and Taylor & Francis.
UNESCO, the event co-organizer collaborated with NDLI to promote the digital libraries as a very effective avenue to realize universal open access of the learning contents. It has promised to co-ordinate digital library development, resource sharing activities of the SAARC countries. Integration of UNESCO South Asia publications has been taken up as the first step towards that.
“While getting international content is one aspect of NDLI, the other focus for NDLI is being inclusive & open. Inclusive in terms of every level of education, all kinds of students and learners, all kind of languages & disciplines. It is open in every respect whether data, technology or content.” said Prof. P P Das who is the in-charge of NDLI.
NDLI is mulling over possibilities of collaborations with Trove and DigitalNZ in terms of sharing of resources and software components. NDLI is already collaborating with Europeana Foundation. Individual experts in user data analytics, knowledge graph mining, linked data have shown keen interest in imbing best research practices into NDLI development. Some of the other digital libraries which expressed interest in collaboration with NDLI are Tainacan Project (Brazil), National Library of The Netherlands, National Library of South Africa, and National Library of Nepal.
Under the NDLI project, IIT Kharagpur has also initiated discussion with Microsoft Academic on sharing scholarly publishing knowledge graph.
“NDLI research and development team will soon focus on implementing technical outcomes of the workshop in terms of data aggregation framework, indexing infrastructure and service based models for data sharing. The developments in academic search engines like Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic also provide cues to efficiently organize scholarly publication in NDLI,” said Prof. Plaban Kumar Bhowmick, Program Co-Chair of the workshop.
Shri K K Sharma, Secretary, MHRD and R. Subrahmanyam, Additional Secretary, MHRD who were present on the occasion opined that by 2030 the union ministry is targeting to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 30 per cent from the present 24 per cent. To achieve this goal, a combination of digital technology with the educational resources is the ideal pathway to ensure that all of India can learn, share and grow.
The MHRD funded NDLI project which has become a leading digital repository of India with approximately 1.26 crore content resources is bringing a significant change in the domain of online content search for both academics and general readership. The portal (https://ndl.iitkgp.ac.in/) went live about a year back and currently hosts more than 12 million contents in more than 100 languages, sourced from about 150 institutes / publishers. The mobile App of NDLI (on Android and iOS) has been well received with close to 7 Lakh downloads.
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