24 Digital Library Initiatives in India (Part II)

Kruti Trivedi


I.  Objectives


The objective of this module is to discuss current digital library initiatives in India.


II. Learning Outcomes 


After completion of this module, the students will gain knowledge on different digital library initiatives so far taken and working in India.



III. Structure 

1.    Introduction

2.   Library Consortium in India

2.1  UGC-INFONET Digital Library Consortium

2.2 INDEST-AICTE Consortium

2.3 National Knowledge Resource Consortium (NKRC)

2.4 MCIT Consortium

2.5 DAE Consortium

2.6 ERMED Consortium

2.7  DRDO E-journal Consortium

2.8  DeLCON

2.9  CeRA (Consortium for e-Resources in Agriculture)

2.10 NLIST

3.    Online Courseware

3.1   NPTEL

3.2  e-Gyankosh

3.3  Learning Object Repository – CEC

3.4  ePG Pathshala

3.5  e-Content for Undergraduate

4.    Data Harvesting Service Provider

5.    Other Initiatives

5.1   Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)

5.2  Archives of India Labour

6.    Summary




1.  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, the delivery of information was started 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 the proliferation of digital libraries worldwide. Traditional knowledge available in one and another form were 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 project MERCURY at CMU; CORE project at Cornell University, the TULIP project and ENVISION at 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).


The module, Digital Library Initiatives in India, is divided in two parts. This is the second part of the module. The first part discusses about the problem encountered for digital library initiatives in India. It also discusses major digital library initiatives in India. The second part of the module elaborates on initiatives taken towards library consortia, open courseware, metadata harvesting services, etc.


2.  Library Consortium in India 


Institutions can acquire access to ever growing digital collections for their libraries either directly or through library consortia. The Majority of these digital collections would be provided by external sources like commercial publishers, scholarly societies, university presses, aggregators, etc. As such, access to digital collections either directly or through library consortia can be considered as a major component of digital library collection infrastructure. 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  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


Description: 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 204 institutions covered under the associate membership program. 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.


2.2 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: 227 member institutions, including 65 core members


Description: 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 227 including 65 core member institutions, 60 AICTE supported engineering college and 102 members under self-supported categories.


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


2.3 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 institutions


Description: 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 7 bibliographical database.


2.4 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  institutions


Description: 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.


2.5 DAE Consortium


Year of Establishment: 2003


Supported by:  Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)


Member Institutions: 36  member  institutions


Description: 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.


2.6 RMED 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


Description: Electronic Resources in Medicine (ERMED) Consortium, set up at 2008, is an initiative taken by the 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.


2.7 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


Description: 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 the 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 the 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.


2.8 DeLCON (http://delcon.gov.in)


Year of Establishment: 2009


Implemented By: NBRC, Manesar


Supported by:  Department of Biotechnology


Member Institutions: 33 member institutions


Description: DBT e-Library Consortium (DeLCON) is funded by the 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


2.9 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


Description: 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.


2.10 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


Description: The Project entitled “National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content (NLIST)”, 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 more than 6,000 e-journals and 97,333 e-books to colleges.



3.   Online Courseware 


3.1    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


Description: 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.


3.2 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


Description: 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.


Current Status:   The Website of e-Gyankosh was under construction in March 2014.


3.3 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 Research Centres (EM RC), Audio Visual Research Centre (AVRC), Vyas Channel on Gyan Darshan (24 hours Higher Educational Channel)


Supported By: UGC, Government of India


Alternative URL: www.cec-lor.edu.in


Description: 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.


3.4 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


Description: 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.


3.5 e-Content for Undergraduate  (http://cec.nic.in/)


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


Partner Institutions: Educational Multimedia Research Centres (EM RC)


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


Description: MHRD, under NME-ICT has allocated funds to the CEC for development of e- content at undergraduate level. The content will be created in two phase. In Phase I, 19 subjects will be produced in collaboration with Media Centres and e-Content courseware and in Phase II, 68 subjects will be produced with the assistance of production agencies other than  Media Centres.


4.  Data Harvesting Service Provider 


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 URL Description
Open Index Initiative Indira Gandhi Institute of Development research, Mumbai Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Reserve Bank of India, Government of India http://oii.igidr.ac.


Open Archive Initiative   is    a cooperative initiative to index social science literature published in India
Search Digital Libraries (SDL) Documentation Research and Training Centre (DRTC), Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore Indian Statistical Institute, Government of India http://drtc.isiban


The SDL currently has 40954 records from 18 national and international repositories in the area of information management, knowledge management, documentation, communication and ICT
MetaMED Indian Medlars Centre, NIC New Delhi http://indmeddb.

nic.in/metamed.h tml



5.      Other Initiatives 


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.


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.


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


Description: 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 Kolkata are some examples of National Digital Libraries in India.


6.  Summary 


The module, Digital library Initiatives in India, is divided in two parts. This is the second part of the module. The module discussed initiatives taken towards library consortia, open courseware, metadata harvesting services. The first of the module discusses about problems & challenges for development of digital libraries in the country. It also discusses digital library initiatives and programmes initiated across the India such as digital library of books, digital library of manuscripts, electronic theses & dissertation, institutional repositories, digital library of journals, etc.




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