KNOWLEDGE WOULD BE THE KEY DRIVING FORCE IN THE
21ST CENTURY, SAYS HON’BLE VICE PRESIDENT OF INDIA
Hon’ble Vice President was delivering the inaugural address at the “International Conference on Digital Libraries” organized by global think tank TERI
New Delhi: With the aim of developing digital libraries and accelerating the process of knowledge management, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) today started the three day International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) 2013 themed
‘Vision 2020: Looking back 10 years and Forging New Frontiers’.
The conference brings together various experts and intellectuals from the industry and academic to deliberate on contemporary issues related to Digital Libraries.
Some of the eminent speakers attending the conference over three days include Ian Witten, Professor, Computer Science, University of Waikato, New Zealand; P Anandan, Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, India; Jagdish Arora, Director, INFLIBNET, India; Jean-Marc Comment, Chef d’unité, Département fédéral de l’Intérieur, Archives fédérales AF Unité des techniques de l’information Archivstrasse, Switzerland; Yan Quan Liu, Professor, Southern Connecticut StateUniversity, USA; Chunxiao Xing, Professor & Director, WEB and SoftwareTechnology, R&D Center, RIIT, Tsinghua University, China R&D Center, RIIT, Tsinghua University, China and A R D Prasad, Professor and Head, DRTC, Indian Statistical Institute, India; Akira Maeda, Professor, Ritsumeikan University, Japan; and Dion Goh, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore among others.
Inaugurating the conference, Honorable Vice-President of India, Shri M Hamid Ansari said “Knowledge would be the key driving force in the 21st century. The ability to use and create knowledge capital will determine a country capacity to empower and enable its citizens by increasing human capabilities. Knowledge would also determine the pace and trajectory of socio economic development of the countries besides their global competiveness. The realization of these objectives would naturally involve widest possible dissemination and imparting of knowledge amongst all sections of society. In this endeavor, digital library would be a critical instrument as they would enable people to access, share and apply knowledge in a more efficient and effective manner. The challenge before us now would be to overcome the digital divide that exists between north and south countries and also region within national boundaries. Democratization of access to knowledge and creation a level playing field by bridging the digital divide would be essential for inclusive and sustained development”
He further added, “In all period of history and in different civilizations libraries have been built as repository of knowledge and information stored in form of books, manuscripts etc. In modern age, libraries became a more universal institution and have played a critical role in the higher evolution of human civilization. The advent of information and communication technologies which has revolutionized our world in all walks of life has also transformed the library system.”
Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development, Dr. M. M. Pallam Raju, said “I am elated to notice the theme chosen for this important event. To me, most of the topics for deliberation are more relevant for education than ever before and the theme of ‘Vision 2020: Looking Back 10 Years and Forging New Frontiers’ is an excellent one. I am also delighted to see that ICDL 2013 is going to organize workshops-cum-panel discussions on select contemporary areas and has a clear inclination towards the National Knowledge Commissions’ mandate. The Commission’s overarching aim is to transform India into a vibrant knowledge-based society. This entails a radical improvement in existing systems of knowledge, as well as the creation of avenues for generating new forms of knowledge”.
He added, “The libraries of India stand as a rich repository and resource. It is, thus, a central objective of the NKC to examine the present standards and services of libraries — public, private, institutional, and specialized — and other information centres and resources to create mechanisms and institutions that will serve the
people. The goal is to transform libraries from guarded storehouses of publications into open stockpiles of knowledge”.
The objective of the conference includes:
To be a single platform for international and national experts,
researchers, academics, and students to share and discuss advanced
thoughts, experiences and to resolve critical issues relating to
Digital Library Movement.
To focus on the creation, adoption, implementation, and utilization
of Digital Libraries and their future implications; and
Capacity building of knowledge professionals.
Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director-General of TERI and Conference Chair of ICDL 2013, said “Digital libraries are a significant outcome of the unprecedented technological changes in the information sector that have taken place across the globe in recent years. These make it possible for documents, publications and knowledge in every field become accessible to every section of society. The International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL), which TERI is organizing for the fourth time provides a unique global platform on which expertsfrom round the world will be sharing their knowledge and vision of the future related to digital libraries. Developments in this field can revolutionize the systematization of knowledge and access to it for all sections of society”
The conference will be an excellent platform for sharing of experiences among researchers, educators, practitioners, and policy makers from all over the world and from a variety of disciplines such as library and information science, information and communication technology, archival and museum studies, knowledge management, etc
During the course of three days of the conference, nine thematic workshop-cum-panel sessions will be held for intensive deliberations on those issues. The themes, inter-alia, are: Applying Standards and Addressing Interoperability for Digital Libraries in a Networked World; National Mission on Libraries; Focus on Open Access; New Trend in e-Publishing; National Virtual Library of India; Digitization and Digital Preservation; Revolutionizing the Publishing Model and Technology For Libraries – Highest-Technology & Best Features, etc.
ICDL 2013 conference programme will also include plenary sessions, invited and contributed papers, poster sessions, and exhibits. The conference sessions will run parallel and will focus on contemporary issues.
In the past, ICDLs have not only promoted digital library research and developments; it has also positioned itself as a pioneer in Digital Library policy making process. Several of the recommendations evolved during the ICDLs were accepted at different government levels.
Concluding the inaugural session, Mr. Prabir Sengupta, Distinguished Fellow TERI, said “ICDL 2013 promises to be an excellent platform for experts from within the country as also from various parts of the world for reviewing the present status for Digital Libraries and for charting the way forward.”
The journey of ICDL began in 2004 with financial and intellectual support from Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Several DL luminaries came forward and join hands with TERI to make this event a grand success. The first conference was inaugurated by Hon’ble Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the then President of India. The recommendations were submitted to Ministry of Culture for implementation. During evaluation of the poor state of public libraries in India, one of the recommendations was allocating funds for developing public library system in India. It triggered a large number of digital library developments such as DLI initiatives by the Indian government and several national/international events in India aimed at bridging the digital divide between the developing and developed countries. It also provided a platform for interaction among digital library amateurs and luminaries.
Seeing the overwhelming responses from all stakeholders – government, librarians and publishers, ICDL was also repeated in 2006 and 2010. In the last three ICDLs speakers were invited from over 25 countries. The tremendous response received for this conference from entire DL communities across the globe has been extremely satisfying and encouraging.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization deeply committed to every aspect of energy, environment, and sustainable development. From providing environment-friendly solutions to rural energy problems, to helping shape the development of the Indian oil and gas sector; from tackling global climate change issues across many continents to enhancing forest conservation efforts among local communities; from advancing solutions to growing urban transportation and air pollution problems to promoting energy efficiency in Indian industries, the emphasis has always been on finding innovative solutions to make the world a better place to live in. All activities at TERI move from formulating local and national–level strategies to suggesting global solutions tackling critical energy and environment related issues. Headed by Dr. R.K. Pachauri, also the chairperson of the Nobel Peace Prize winning climate change body, IPCC, TERI has emerged as an institution of excellence for its path-breaking research, and is a global brand widely respected by political leaders, policy makers, corporate entities as well as the civil society at large