ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARIANS
OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (APLAP)
EIGHTH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE
NEW DELHI, INDIA
(18-22 JANUARY, 2005)
HELD AT 1000 HOURS
SATURDAY, 22 JANUARY, 2005
LOK SABHA SECRETARIAT
EIGHTH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARIANS OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC (APLAP) NEW DELHI
Saturday, 22nd January, 2005
C O N T E N T S P A G E S
SESSION 6. CHANGING DIMENSIONS OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SERVICES IN INDIA
Keynote Address, Presentation of Papers and Discussion
The conference met at 10.18 hours.
(Dr. Ravinder Kumar Chaddha, Lok Sabha, India in the Chair)
MR. VIJAY KRISHNAN, LOK SABHA (INDIA) : Good morning everybody. I welcome you all to the final working session of this conference. I wish to inform you about a couple of things.
First, a group photograph of the participants would be given to each of the delegates. Secondly, as you are aware, the proceedings of this conference is being given a live coverage and if anyone is interested in having a CD of that, then it is available at a nominal fee of Rs. 200/-.
Now, we have the final working session of this conference. Dr. Jagdish Arora from the Indian Institute of Technology would give the Keynote Address. You may be fully aware of the reputation of the Indian Institute of Technology and then there are five other prominent librarians from Delhi who would be making their presentations on the subject.
SESSION VI: Changing dimensions of library and information services in India
MR. CHAIRMAN: Good morning friends. While we were discussing about the agenda of this conference we thought that it would be appropriate if our friends from different countries would also be made aware about the activities, developments and status of librarianship in India and what we are doing in general in this field in this country. That is why we selected a cross-section of eminent librarians who work in different fields and these librarians are from different institutions. We have selected them from different institutions.
We also [bru2] have a person from the Government, that is, the Central Secretariat Library, which is the largest Government Library in the country. Then we have an academician, Dr. Shailendra Kumar who is the Head of the Department of Library and Information Sciences of the Delhi University. Then Dr. Mohinder Singh is there who is the Director of Defence Scientific Information and Documentation Centre of Delhi. There are also Dr. Suri and Dr. Gayas Makhdumi who are again from academic institutes but from the area of social sciences. Their emphasis is more on social science. We thought that it will be nice to have their views or get an idea of what Indian librarianship is doing.
Today, we have requested Dr. Jagdish Arora to give his keynote address and he will be talking of where Indian librarianship is heading to in the present era of information technology, what new roles we have taken, what new ideas are being implemented and where we are moving in the present area. That is why, Dr. Arora will be talking on IT position in India.
To introduce Dr. Arora, he is more of a friend than a fellow colleague. In fact, we have grown together in the profession since the last 28 years or so. Dr. Arora started his career after doing his Masters degree in Library Information Science from Delhi University with American Library. Then he moved to a few libraries like the International Research Institute, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, National Institute of Immunology, Delhi and finally, he is in IIT, New Delhi. Meanwhile, he moved to IIT, Mumbai also for about one-and-a-half years.
Dr. Arora is a recipient of a number of awards. They include the Young Librarian Award when he was young. Of course, he is still young. Young Librarian Award was conferred on him in 1997-98. His contribution in the field of IT is remarkable. He is presently the Coordinator of INDEST Consortium. He has basically proposed an idea of consortia for subscribing to journals in the field of science and technology. This is a very interesting project which our Education Ministry or the Ministry of Human Resources has launched about three years back where they are subscribing about 10,000 journals in the consortia. There are about 140 institutes who are members in this. These institutes are basically premier educational institutions like the Indian Institution of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, etc. Then we have got the Regional Engineering Colleges and the National Engineering College. So, these premier institutes have joined as a group and formed a consortia and are subscribing to the journals whose number is going to almost 10,000.
He has also been abroad a number of times. I think he has visited all over the world and delivered lectures, contributed a lot to the field of information technology. He has also attended many National and International Conferences. He is also in the Advisory Board of IEEE and IEE in the field of information science. I request Dr. Arora to present his keynote address today and after that, we would have a little bit of question-answer session. Then we may request our other friends to give their views on the topic.
DR. JAGDISH ARORA, INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, NEW DELHI (INDIA): Thank you, Mr. Chadha for your flowery introduction. I would like to make a PowerPoint presentation now.
There are three revolutions in the history of mankind. They are language millions of years ago, writing millions of years ago and Gutenbergs Printing Technology that came into being in 1500 A.D. Right now, we have entered into the Fourth Revolution. We are going through the Fourth Revolution which is the Internet (Web and Electronic Publishing) mainly. It is going to have a lasting impact on how publishers, publishing and authors behave. It is going to bring revolutionary changes in publishers, publishing and authors.
Now, talking about revolution, I can say that unsettled players are involved in it. The old players have new roles to play. For example, regarding contributory authors, the entire way changes the way they think. They are looking for media where their results are getting published faster and they get the credit for it. That is more important. Journal editors have a new role to play in the sense, they work in an electronic environment. Publishers are always looking for more money. They prove their value and ask for more money from the librarians. Librarians always think that things are going to become cheaper when it comes to electronic publishing. But it is not really so. As far as users are concerned, there are surveys which say that specially young users say that if anything is existing in the electronic form, then they are always available for them. Otherwise, they do not go to libraries. That is the user perception. Electronic publishing give convenience to the users. Librarians are always looking for cutting down and buying more from a lesser budget. They thought that e-publishing would give them opportunities. It has given them some opportunities but not exactly the way we thought it would. Things are, of course, changing.
The focus of libraries till 1980s were on computerisation of bibliographic records and providing computerized services through secondary databases held locally in CD ROM or magnetic tapes. Now, there is a change of focus since 1990s. There is emphasis on electronic full text resources, use of standard protocols to ensure interoperability among information systems across the country and internationally and use of web-based products and services. Todays digital revolution is built around Internet and web technologies with electronic journals as their building blocks.
If you look at the history of automation, you can find that there are three distinct phases. The first automation started in 1960 with Library OPACs/ Integrated Library Packages and shared Cataloguing. The second automation started in 1970s when remote public access and online search and retrieval services using Mini and Main Frame System were there. Then we started accessing them. The third automation was in 1980s with print contents going electronic like CD ROMs, bibliographic and full-text sources. ADONIS was one of the remarkable services for document delivery. In fact, in 1989, there were 1700 full-text sources which were available on sixteen online systems Of course, the technology had its handicap. It was not able to display the graphics part of it. At that time, the technology did not support it. Although we had 1700 full-text sources, they were all pure and simple texts.
When we are going to talk about the Fourth Revolution, we can say that that was the beginning of Internet Revolution. It had client-server technology behind it. Gopher came in a big way and of course, it disappeared also in a big way. It was took over by world wide web and we had complete paper with graphics and other media. There were evolving web technologies like CGI, ODBC, etc. All these technologies were behind the development of digital database[bru3] .
Let us have a look at the trends. Technology is the enabling factor. But what are the trends now? There is a gradual migration towards electronic resources. There would be enhanced contents in electronic version. Print version would be increasingly treated as skimmed version with summaries and highlights. This is going to happen. It is said that when the moving picture came, first versions were more like theatres, as if theatre is being enacted. But the Director then realised that the camera can move. Similarly, there will be migration from print to digital information. This is going to change. We will have more and more contents which cannot be or which will not be reproduced in paper environment. There will be increase in local contents with provision for electronic repositories to host them locally. There will be e-print archives with Open Archives Initiatives. This is coming in a big way. India is a big supporter of this movement. We are trying to establish repositories and putting our contents there. There will be increase in in-house digitisation activities and increased acceptance of e-resources for the convenience, bells and whistles they offer.
Continuing with the trend, articles are being treated as a unit of information as against journal issues. As you know, in the conventional environment, unless you have ten articles ready to be put, it will not come and the journal is not ready for publication. But now almost every publisher puts his article as soon as it is ready. So, article is being treated as a unit of information as against journal issues. The factors that are influencing the changes are four. They are collection, services, users and staff. We will talk about each one of them.
As far as collection is concerned, libraries are going through a trend where they are moving from acquisition to access. The emphasis is on access. The user should be able to access the information. It is not important whether you have them physically with you or not. We have instructed all our members to discontinue their print subscription since they have already access to it. Of course, we have ensured that some kind of back up or perpetual access is built in our purchase. There is a change from mono-media to polymedia. Print is not the only media. You have all kinds of graphics and other things built into that. There is a change from "Just-in-case" to "Just-in-time". The acquisition policies are changing accordingly. We have larger dependence on document delivery services now. There is a change from libraries as archives to libraries as access points. There is a change from "subscription to printed journals" to "subscription to e-journals". These are changes as far as collection is concerned.
As far as services are concerned, we are migrating from bibliographic search services to full text search services and document delivery. I would like to mention that when we told our users that we might discontinue some of the secondary services, some of the users have said that they do not bother about it as long as they have IAL on line. They said, "We just do not bother whether you have INSPEC or not". But we, as librarians, know that INSPEC is very important one. The users' perception is convenience and accessibility to full text. There is a migration from searching printed indices to CD-ROM databases and online search services. This is another trend. There is a change from information gathering to information analysis and repackaging.
As far as the users are concerned, there is a shift from quantity to quality. Not many users would like to see secondary services in spite of the fact that we tell them their merits. If they are available in e-version, they are interested. Otherwise, they do not want to go to library. There is a demand for highly specific information and timely information. Users are highly aware of what is available and what they can access. Their expectations from the librarians are very high. Web-based products and services accessible at user's desktop have made the users self-sufficient. They are no more dependent on libraries. They feel that they can do without libraries. Accordingly, libraries have a changing role to play. Libraries have to balance customers expectations of continuing increase in IT support with limited institutional resources. They have to meet support requirements of users. There is a need to train and re-train LIS students and staff. We have to take decisions on appropriate technology solutions for libraries and its implementation. We are suffering from multiple of solutions than from lack of solutions. So, our responsibility is to collectively select appropriate technology and implement it. We have to create network-based libraries. We have to create and maintain library websites and archiving digital information. So, this is what is expected of us.
It is said that internet is like drinking from the fire hydrants, the librarians are expected to filter the information contents of internet by cataloguing internet resources. We have been in the business of selecting printed books. But now we have to catalogue internet resources. We have to evaluate and select internet information resources; build subject gateways and portals as a part of library website. We have to address questions of authenticity, integrity and provenance of information. These are the new opportunities and expectations from the libraries. Of course, librarians require skills and expertise to meet these expectations. So, LIS personnel are required to develop special skills in IPR and copyright which is gaining importance day by day. IPR was something about which nobody talked about. In fact, we were surprised when we were going to implement ETD in IIT, that there were no IPR issues. We never talked about as to whom the thesis belongs to, whether it is the copyright of the university or the student. It was unclear. So, we have to have IPR and copyright issues talked about in detail. Then, there are management information systems, content and knowledge management; networking; telecommunications; and licensing information resources and lease agreements.
We have to be some kind of IPT advocates to really look into the contents of what goes into the agreements. Then, there is knowledge of alternate electronic publishing models such as e-print archives; institutional repositories; ETD; library consortia for sharing human, material and fiscal resources. Increasingly, technology has given us an opportunity to create contents. We have been in the business of purchasing content. But this new technology has given us an opportunity to create contents. A lot of libraries are coming forward in India to take up such initiatives. Of course, consortia is more important and I am sure many of you would be involved in such initiatives. This is really changing the way people look at Library Information Science in India.
Next is about library's role in changing scenario. It redefines role of library in acquisition, selection, organisation and management, access and preservation; content creation, content management and creation of knowledge-base for the organisation; creation of local open archives for the contents created locally or generated by the faculty and scientists; led by open archive initiatives. I will be able to give some examples that we have been able to establish. Library as universal access facility for the institute; develop, organise and maintain subject portals and community portals. This is something which has been taken up by most of the IITs and other libraries.
Then, I come to library's role as validation and certification authority. When we develop subject portals, that is what we do. We evaluate sources and provide some kind of authenticity to it. We have to negotiate licence agreements for electronic access; form consortia and negotiate licensing; recruit and train manpower in handling digital repositories, computing and network infrastructure raised in the process of setting up a modern library; library's role in online education and increased and continued participation in traditional methods of imparting education and research activities. They have to get more involved in traditional methods of imparting education and research, not an as librarian but as an IT expert[r5] .
I come to general opportunities now. The challenges provide us building digital collections of national importance from existing texts, documents and images. We never thought of archives before the way we are thinking of it now because of the technology and its enabling factor.
The next is about creating new digital documents and linking them; selecting open source digital resources and creating and maintaining linkages. These are subject portals. It also includes developing/adapting management tools for digital collections; providing access to digital collections; integrating digital and other library collections. This is very important. We have now collections in print. We have a library of OPACs. We have several publishers from whom we provide access to the users. There is integration not only at the publishers level, e-journal level but also at the library of OPACs and the material that we have digitised locally. So, the integrated access is something which comes out very important in our environment. There are now technologies that allow us to use that.
Then, this is about establishing services for digital libraries, online access and offline support, education and training of users and librarians; addressing social, legal, policy issues; outsourcing digitization and services.
So, this is the first part of my presentation. I will just take you through some of the important digital library initiatives that we have in our country. At the scholarly science journal level, publications have been digitised. One of the early initiatives is taken by the Indian Academy of Sciences. It was established in 1934. Their 11 journals are available online. It is an open source material. I have given the web-site address here. These are the journals that are available online in respect of the Indian Academy of Sciences.
The other Academy in India is the Indian National Science Academy. They have four important publications. All of them have been digitised from volume one onwards which are available online. This is the screen chart of it.
Another initiative which is very important is the MedIND which is a bio-medical journal of India. About 28 journals have been digitised, full text, from volume-I onwards and this is available . The full context is available to the scientific community here.
This is the screen chart of MedIND. It is about Electronic Theses and Dissertations. There are several Universities which have started it. We have started it at the IIT, Delhi. We have more than five-hundred Ph.D. theses that have been scanned. Electronic submission of theses has been approved by the Institute Senate. We are in the process of implementing this. We have installed D-Space Configured for submission and access.
This is the screen chart of about 25,000 pages that we have scanned in respect of old periodicals. ETD @ IIT is already in practice. It commenced in 1999. More than 3,500 theses have already been deposited on it. Further, bibiliographic data along with abstracts is available to all on internet. The full text of the theses dissertations is available on internet.
This is the screen chart of ETD @ IIT Bombay. They installed the digital library. Another major initiative in India is the Vidyanidhi project. This is the national initiative where all the Universities are requested to join. They have already signed MoU with four Universities. Initially, it was supported by Government of India. Now, the support has come from Microsoft and the Rockfeller Foundation.
This is the screen chart of Vidyanidhi project. This is Institutional e-Print Archives. We are a big advocate of e-print archives in India. The e-print Archives at IISc, Bangalore was started about three years back. There are more than 1200 deposits on it. This is one of the most active e-prinit archives that we have. The problem with such an initiative is that technology is not a limiting factor. Anyone can install an e-print archives. You have to prompt the scientists to keep on submitting to this depository. This becomes a limitation if the scientists are not fully aware of the implications of it.
This is the screen chart of e-print at IISc, Bangalore. INDEST Consortium that I coordinate also promotes establishment of e-print archives. We had arranged a training programme for our member institutions. About 22 institutions were the beneficiaries of this training programme. We could get five institutions to do this, to start e-print archives. IIT, Delhi is one of them. IIT, Bombay, IIT, Kharagpurr, IIT Allahabad and Iim Kozikode are the others. These are the institutions that they have started the e-print achieve activities with our promotion.
This is the screen chart of e-Print archives at IIT, Delhi and the IIM, Calicut. Another initiative which I would like to mention is the Librarians Digital Library started at IISc Bangalore by DRTC. It works on DSPACE and it is open to all. Anyone can make submission. You can also go and have a look at the library. Maybe, you would like to make a submission. I would rather request Dr. Chadha to put into the Librarians Digital Library what went on in this Conference .
As far as books are concerned, one of the major projects that Government of India is involved in is the Universal Digital Library Project. It is also called the Million Books on the Web Project. India and China are the two big participants. The portal on the Digital Library of India was launched in September, 2003 by the President of India. The portal has more than 27000 books in digitised form. This work is carried out at a national level. There are several libraries which are involved in it.
This is about the projects started by the Carnegie Mellon University coordinated by India in India by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
This is the screen chart of Universal Digital Library Project. The online courseware is another important area that has been recognised by the Government of India. We have national level projects called the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning. This is the MHRD-sponsored programme executed by all the IITs and the IISc. It is aimed at developing curriculum-based video and web courses for at least more than 200 courses targeted to engineering colleges and pure sciences. Several web-based courses are already available from the web-sites of participating institutions. At IIT, Delhi, we have developed an Online Courseware Directory on Courses in Information Technology. At data level, there are two initiatives. One is made by the National Chemical Laboratory on national collection of industrial micro-organisms and the other one is the National Centre for Bio-diversity Information. These two portals provide data level access to content.
About manuscript, as you know, India has the largest collection of manuscripts in the world about 5 million approximately. We have a National Manuscript Mission which is looking into digitisation of manuscripts. This is another national level project. Several institutions are involved in it. There is a National Electronic Register and Catalogue. This is one of the primary purposes of doing this.
The VV Giri National Labour Institute has already archives there. It has digitised its collection on Archives of Indian labour.
But at Metadata level, the National Informatics Centre has made an index of portals of 75 Indian journals which are available on the Internet, and the INFLIBNET is creating data bases for PLT theses, experts and R&D projects. These things are available in public domain. There is another major initiative which is called Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL). Basically, it provides an index or full-text information about traditional medicine and aromatic plants.
We have a speaker from the Central Secretariat Library. The Central Secretariat Library has already digitised the Gazette of India which would shortly be available on the Internet. Khuda Baksh Oriental Library has done some major projects in manuscripts. The National Library of Calcutta has done a lot of activities. They have scanned their rare English books and documents published before 1900 and the Indian publication of pre-1920 for digitisation. A pilot project has been completed. About, 7,000 books have been digitised in their project. INSA has done digitisation of records of their fellows who are prominent Indian scientists. Their data and their collections have been digitised. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts is another important agency which has done a lot of works on digitisation of treasures of arts in India. It is more like a three-dimensional digitisation because artefacts have been digitised.
There is an organisation called Nalanda Digital Library at NIT, Calicut. They have digitised e-books, e-journals, e-theses, and what is mostly available is open access. Of course, in Parliament, you would have already seen the digitisation of debates of Parliament. All the debates, Questions, Committee Reports, bio-data of present and past MPs including their photographs have been digitised, and they are available on the web.
The gateway service for open access resources is another important aspect where we have SciGate, Science Information Portal at IISc., Bombay. There is an Aero-Information Portal at the National Aeronautics Lab. At IIT, Delhi, we have created a Biotech Portal from one of the sponsored projects. There is a Library Portal at IIT, Kharagpur.
So, in conclusion, we can say that digital library is like war is too important a matter to be left to the generals, it is too important a matter to be left to any one discipline or any one agency. We all have to contribute to that. Libraries, the librarians and the information specialists in India are preparing themselves to play their re-defined roles. Libraries and information agencies cannot escape digital revolution. So, they might as well join it.
Finally, technology is new for everyone. I interact with my computer experts. They have the same limitation that we have. The technology is completely new for each one of us. We can take it as an advantage. Thank you.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Dr. Jagdish Arora for a quite detailed talk covering the various aspects of developments in Indian librarianship. He has rightly said that we are gradually migrating from printed resources to electronic resources. An important thing, he said, was that in todays world, journal is not the key factor; journal is not the unit of distribution of information which used to be about, say, five years back or so where we used to think that journal is the smallest unit of distributing information. We have reached to the level of article. What is important is that when we are going in for modernisation, we should not try to digitise or modernise the old practices. The existing practises should not be digitised or modernised, rather we should look for new opportunities and new ideas. IT is a very sophisticated and strong tool. We should make the fullest use of it. It is not that we just migrate from our existing practice with the help of IT but make use of the facility that IT gives you. Since this is a kind of strong tool, it can give you a lot of new ideas.
Then, a very important thing is that the librarians themselves are developing their own archives. We have taken initiative where librarians are being requested to put their articles. We are developing a digital library where our articles will be available. Of course, we are working for the articles by different scientists and different people. So, it is a quite thought provoking demonstration.
We have about 10 to 15 minutes time to put questions. You can take this time. Then, we have presentation by two other colleagues. After that, we can have a quick discussion. If somebody asks question, we can go ahead.
MS. AURORA CHRISTIANA SIMANDJUNTAK (INDONESIA): I just want to know how much one has to pay to establish this wonderful thing for getting information.
DR. JAGDISH ARORA (IIT-DELHI): As far as open archive initiative is concerned, the software is completely free. We used D-Space which is available in public domain. You do need to invest as far as the hardware and network structure is concerned. It does not cost anything to instal D-Space or any of those open archive initiatives. In fact, in your country there is a work done by Mr. Bahami. You have that Ganesha Digital Library Software package which is again one of the OI compliance software systems. I think the work that is done by Mr. Bahami is quite similar to what we are trying to do here in India.
MR. FRANK CHRISTOPHER, LOK SABHA (INDIA): Thank you, Dr. Jagdish Arora for the real professional touch you gave to the theme. We all have really added to our knowledge. I want to briefly mention about keeping up with the time which Ms. Roslynn Membrey had mentioned yesterday that changes have been brought about with the change in time and we have also to change with the time. So, it will be nice for all the countries which are participating in this Conference to keep up with the training part, in-house training or in other aspects. As for myself, I can say I am not very much into the know of the current IT. You made a mention about Gopher. Could you kindly tell us a little more about it?
DR. JAGDISH ARORA, IIT-DELHI (INDIA): In fact, Gopher was some kind of a precursor to web technology. It has now completely disappeared. All Gopher sites have been converted into websites. It was a technology, which was transitory, which came in a big way, but then it did not have that advantage that web offers.
MR. MOMKHLEM KHLEMCHAN (CAMBODIA): Would you please tell us about your strong points and weak points?
DR. JAGDISH ARORA, IIT-DELHI (INDIA): Digital library and these things are collaborative in nature; not a single person or agency can do much about it. It is a collaborative effort. So, what we require is some kind of a national policy on these development issues and some kind of a federation like the Digital Library Federation in the US where they can direct the initiatives which are being taken at various levels. There is no co-ordination in these initiatives. So, we require a co-ordinated effort where duplication could be avoided. Right now, the examples that I have given are quite distinct in nature; but when it comes to large-scale digitisation taken up by institutions without any collaboration or co-ordination, it might result in duplication of efforts. It is not only duplication of digitisation projects but also of protocols and procedures. So, there has to be standards. In our country, this has not been taken up so far. This is one of the weaknesses.
The other weakness I would say is that we have not been able to educate our scientists to come forward and make deposits to the Institute Archives that have come in place. We have Institute Archives where articles that have been posted are not given to us. We have to take along the scientific community to come forward and put their articles in the repositories.
DR. S. MAJUMDAR, CENTRAL SECRETARIAT LIBRARY, NEW DELHI (INDIA): I would add to what Dr. Arora has said.
In India, the user profile is changing very fast. The libraries in India are coping up with the electronic developments that are taking place. Keeping in view the profile of the users, the limitation of the four walls of the library has diminished day by day and it is being taken over by the virtual environment.
One very important development which has taken place is the development of different national resource centres in a virtual environment of libraries; and the e-documents and e-publications are playing an important role in that field.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I think, we do not have much time. So, we may now move to the next two speakers, who are again good friends of mine and also professional colleagues.
Dr. Shailendra Kumar is from the Department of Library and Information Science, University of Delhi, of which, I think, all of us are products. Dr. Jagdish Arora and I belong to the same school. It is basically my school where Dr. Shailendra Kumar is now teaching. Dr. Shailendra Kumar has done a lot of work in the field of IT. In fact, he has been instrumental in developing the infrastructure in the Department of Library and Information Science and upgrading the Departments facility during the last three years of his leadership in the Department.
Dr. Shailendra Kumar is a widely travelled person. He is the author of the first virtual book which be brought out six months ago marking his experiences of travel in UK and Germany, where all of us were together. His book is the first virtual book in Indian librarianship.
Dr. Shailendra Kumar has the experience of working earlier in the Indira Gandhi National Open University as well as in INSDOC, our national scientific documentation centre. He has been rated as a very senior professional in the country and has been contributing a lot in professional activities.
To speak after Dr. Sahilendra Kumar, we have Dr. S. Majumdar, who also started his career from the Jawaharlal Nehru University. He had been in the academic institute there for many years and then moved on to the Indian Institute of Public Administration. Now, he is the Director of the Central Secretariat Library. Basically, it is also a co-ordinating agency for various activities of librarianship in the governmental sector. He is in a position where he has to co-ordinate and propagate government policies for the country as a librarian because the Library belongs to the Ministry of Culture which is the nodal agency for librarianship in India.
Dr. Majumdar has taken a lot of initiatives during his tenure in the Central Secretariat Library where he has also taken the initiative for digitising the Gazette of India and the Annual Reports of Ministries. He has developed a nice e-portal for the users of the Library and also for the officials of the Ministry. In fact, his Library is a major library used by the public for accessing government documents and other important Indian documents. They have a good collection of books in Indian languages in his Library.
We would now be having presentations by these two learned colleagues and then we could have a bit of a discussion before we move on to the next session.
DR. SHAILENDRA KUMAR, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI (INDIA): Good morning, friends.
President of the Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Asia and the Pacific; Chairman of the Session, Dr. Chadha; Dr. Jagdish Arora; Mr. Nautiyal; and professional colleagues:
I am very much delighted to be here to share my experiences on how we are going about with education in the field of library and information science in India and what sort of research work we are associated with.
Dr. Chadha has mentioned very briefly about the Department. I shall just give you an account of what type of research we are doing in the Department. We are very constantly revising our library and information science curriculum, keeping in view what is happening in the profession in India and also at the international level.
We are trying to include in our curriculum subjects that would meet the users requirements and also the latest technological developments in the field of information technology. We have recently changed the admission process for Masters and Research programmes. We are trying to co-ordinate with library and information service professionals to encourage research. There were some restrictions earlier on directly going in for Ph.D. Now, we are allowing professionals who are doing research to go further and directly get these degrees. We are concentrating on areas like marketing of information, evaluation of literature and research output. At the same time, we are also looking into areas like digital libraties, telecast libraries and creation of e-resources.
At the same time we know our country is a mixed stock. On the one end there is a very hi-tech library and information centre and at the other end we have the populations and the people who are in the rural areas. So, we are keeping track to do some research in the rural information area also called Information Village. Some of our students are working in the information requirements of cottage industries in the various sectors in India.
Creation of research is very important. Dr. Chadha mentioned about the V-Book. We are telling our students also that let us go for creation of e-resources of ourselves. This is a book, V-book, European Libraries in New Millennium. As I said, we are in a transition. So, for the rural and the other background people, there is a print volume also attached with it. There are two multi-media CDs which are here. We developed ourselves this software to prepare this e-resource.
Coming on to my topic today, we found one professional and he worked in Zee Telefilms India Limited. We always encourage people who are having a background. So, we said let us do a research work in the area of telecast media libraries. So, the topic is Dynamics of Telecast Media Libraries in India. The professional colleague is Mr. Ranjeet Singh Thakur. He is here with us. In this particular topic we have tried to study what is happening in the telecast media libraries, what is the TV media organisations perception of a library, how they process their information resources, up to what level they are able to satisfy their users, what are the systems being followed for information storage and retrieval in telecast media library, are the manpower engaged in these libraries equipped with LIS qualifications and other TV media qualifications, what are the problems being faced by TV media libraries and their users, what is the information behaviour of the users of such libraries and so on.
The research topic was covering various aspects. But in my presentation here, we have limited the ideas. In the television programmes, this is very fast developing in India. We are having, in the recent seven to eight years, a lot of channels and lot of production houses and cable networking, DTH and all these phenomena are happening. We thought let us concentrate and do our work here. So, TV programmes are telecast via satellite terrestrial links and cable networks. These TV programmes can be categorised. What we have taken into our studies are news and current affairs type of channels and the channels which are related with education and information, and the third one is the entertainment channel. Different types of agencies are involved in a TV transmission, like production houses. There are large number of production houses. Though they are not transmitting the television data, these production houses are there.
In India there is the Balaji Telefilms which is today producing almost 15 TV programmes and there is the B.A.G. Films. There are many more production houses. They may or may not be the television channels. There are exclusive television channels like STAR, ZEE, SONY and there are lots of Indian television channels which are coming up. There are news agencies which are associated with the television transmissions, like the Press Trust of India, United News of India, etc.
In the television transmissions there are lots of educational institutions in India that are involved. One is the Indira Gandhi National Open University. The others are Jamia Milia Islamia, Indian Institute of Mass Communications, etc. and, of course, the UGC is also now producing a lot of television material for giving education in various areas like science and technology and, of course, in library and information science also.
On the objectives of this study, it is now that we are presenting here mainly to trace the growth pattern and general background of telecast media companies vis-à-vis libraries, the nature of telecast media libraries in terms of their collection, maintenance facilities, operation systems, services rendered by these libraries, information behaviour and status of the users of TV and media libraries. On relations between the LIS education and the media libraries, I have already mentioned about the techniques and technologies and also about the state and status of television media libraries presently in India.
Of course, the area is very big. We restricted these operations to those which are doing operations in India. There are around 185 satellite channels who are doing operations in India. More emphasis has been laid down on TV media libraries dealing with news and current affairs and education instead of entertainment. Often one group is running many channels. We have observed this also. Such groups have only one library. For example, there is STAR TV which is running many channels; but they are supported by a single library. So, there are 185 channels but altogether we have seen that there are approximately 81 libraries. Hence the number of libraries is not corresponding to the number of TV channels. This is the data that we have studied. There are 81 TV media libraries and we got very positive responses from 57. We are aware that in India out of these 81 libraries all are not very well equipped but many are very good in terms of their infrastructure.
I will be telling you about it from the users point of view as to what their perception is of the media library. There are 108 users who are mainly concentrating on news and current affairs and 12 on entertainment and five on education and information. What I am trying to say here is that more of the people are involved with the news and current affairs type of activities. The purpose of using libraries by these users whether they use in-house libraries or whether they use the other libraries also is to have their information requirements. We have given data here about casual reading related to education, related to official work, etc. We are always finding that for official work they are using it more 89 of them, and those who are using it for research and for information are two. It is seen that for research also they are using a lot of library services.
On the users viewpoint of usefulness of LIS qualifications, we have interviewed and asked the users as to what is the usefulness of Library and Information Science qualification, do you think that for the people who are working here there should be library background, there should be more media background, etc. We have got responses here 54 have said it is very useful for the people to have Library and Information Science background. Some 41 have responded that it is useful and very few gave the idea of negativity. On the users opinion on training of television, they say okay, fine, you have a library background; then what is the idea of having a training or the background of TV media.
So, the responses from the librarians point of view were 54 responded that TV media, LIS and I.T. information are the three important aspects that should be there if the person is handling the TV media library. It is a good response. Some 32 said for TV media and LIS qualification. Only one said that I.T. information is required and three said only TV media qualification is required. Most of the people are having an idea that the persons who are working in the media library should have a qualification of combination of LIS, I.T. and TV media.
Surprisingly, this is a very strange result that we got. When we prepared rank list of usefulness of information material in library and information centres in these media libraries, when we ranked them, we found that most of the people are using a newspaper and it is coming at the rank number one and the journals and magazines are at rank number two and so on[krr11] .
We thought earlier that most of the people will be using the library for video CDs, audios, programme scripts and still photographs, but they are coming in the last. Maybe, these people for their technical work are keeping the technical material in their area only with them and that is the reason for this. This picture is the picture normally we are getting with other libraries also.
Then, I come to the rank list of type of organisations. There are 32 organisations. Broadcasters at number one and the production houses at number two are followed by news agencies, educational media centres, multi-system operators and others. I will now give you information about distribution by year-of-start of the media organisation, which is very interesting information. Before 1990, there were around 14 organisations dealing with TV media productions; during 1990-92, there were four more; and during 1993-95, there were 19 more. During the period 1993-95, lot of activities were there. During 1996-98, there were nine organisations. Even after that, it is still increasing because our study is limited as we have covered up to 2002 only.
Now, we have distribution by number of staff members. Normally, we have seen that these libraries are managed by either one or two staff members. There are 17 libraries having one staff member and eight libraries having two staff members. Now, there are libraries which are managed by 7, 8, 10 or 15 staff members also, but their number is very less. There is only one library of TV Today which has 15 staff members. But surprisingly, we have noticed that library of India Today is number one in terms of facilities.
Then, we have gone into how libraries are processing their information in terms of print material and also in terms of their non-print material, what sort of classifications they are doing, what sort of cataloguing they are doing and how they are going into subject identifications and indexing. We have seen that in respect of non-print material, 37 libraries are doing technical classifications and for print material, 11 libraries are doing technical classifications. With respect to non-print material, out of 57, 25 libraries are doing cataloguing and with respect to print material, nine libraries are doing cataloguing. For non-print materials, 33 libraries are going for subject heading and 22 libraries are doing indexing.
When we noticed that they are doing technical classification or cataloguing, we have tried to find out what sort of system they are following, whether they are following a standard classification system, what is the position of standard classification or standard codes in cataloguing. We found that two libraries are using DDC and one is using CC while other libraries are using their in-house systems. Thirty-six libraries have developed their own systems of classifications. Similarly, in the cataloguing also, five libraries are using Anglo-American Cataloguing Rule, AACR II, and none is using CCC. Twenty-three libraries are using their own system of cataloguing. We have noticed one thing that many of the libraries have devised their own method of preparing a catalogue and doing a classification.
In terms of automation of these libraries, we tried to find out how these libraries are going for automation and what sort of softwares they are using. We have seen that 37 libraries are using their in-house software package for automation of their libraries. There are commercial softwares like Alice for Windows, LIBSYS and CDS/ISIS. Two libraries are using Alice for Windows software. Again, two libraries are using CDS/ISIS, which is a software as per UNESCO. One library is using LIBSYS. Eleven libraries did not respond.
From the librarians' point of view, we have obtained their opinion about training of TV media qualifications. This is exactly similar to what the users have responded in terms of qualifications of our TV media for librarians.
Now, there are some observations here. Organisations dealing in news and/or education have a good library and staff. Similarly, broadcasters, educational media centres, news agencies have good library information centres. Library services in many libraries are not up to the mark. These are the observations.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you Dr. Shailendra Kumar.
Now, I request Dr. S. Majumdar for his presentation.
DR. S. MAJUMDAR, CENTRAL SECRETARIAT LIBRARY-DELHI (INDIA): Thank you Dr. Chadha.
Good morning to all of you. I am in the Central Secretariat Library, working as a Director of Central Secretariat Library for the past three years and trying to develop that library as another Government information system. In that process, there are many of the activities which we have been carrying out. A case study of that is being presented before you.
I begin with a note that the course of the human development has taken a new dimension with the introduction of the information and communication technology. As Dr. Arora has mentioned that the fourth generation activity of the world is concentrating on the ICT, the advantage of the ICT is being taken care of not only in the libraries but in other fields also. So, with this revolution which is coming up - India has gone through an agrarian revolution, the Green Revolution - India is now going towards the ICT revolution, which has taken its course and within a decade's period, we have advanced to such a level which is remarkable.
The Government of India has recognised the potential of ICT for rapid and all round national development. You will come across many of the issues which have been taken by the Government of India in promoting the ICT developments. There is a National Agenda for Governance wherein the blueprint of Government policy has taken due note of the ICT revolution, which is sweeping the globe. To India, e-governance will mean application of IT to the processes of Government functioning to bring about simple, moral, accountable, responsive and transparent - which we normally call SMART - governance that works better, costs less and is capable of fulfilling the citizens' needs as never before. This is a caption from the National Agenda for Governance. It is one of the most important captions and is full of thought-provoking information. Each sentence and each activity, which is coming up in the Government, is concentrated with the SMART activity.
With e-governance, we mean an efficient delivery of the services to the citizens and the business, better dissemination of the Government information, improved efficiency of the Government information and improved revenue collection of the budgetary controls. Many an e-government organisations have been taking care of it. Yesterday I was in the Income Tax Department. I was amazed to see that the online activity of Income Tax Department, not only in respect of tax collection but also other areas, has increased. The total tax collection of India is coming up in an online environment[reporter13] .
That removes many of the red-tapism and corruption issues which have been in the forefront not only in India but also in other countries. The benefits out of it are that it provides integrated Government services through a single window by re-engineering the Government processes. Many of the Government Departments are coming up with their re-engineering processes. A clerk sitting at his table with a computer has the facility to interact with his own partner elsewhere, and he is trying to develop the information which is related to the governmental activity in a computer environment. That kind of a re-engineering which is taking place has given a benefit to us in promoting the e-governance aspect. It is capable of not only speeding up transactions but also transparent functioning. Reduction in the procedural and postal delays involved in the current system can be taken care of by the introduction of e-governance. It helps the common man getting governed with minimum red-tapism and zero corruption.
For India, the rise of Information Technology is an opportunity to overcome historical disabilities and to become the master of ones own national destiny. I would say that we were very late in attending to the very important issue of using ICT. Historically, when we see and when we compare with our late entry into the ICT, we would say that within a decade, we have marched a long, long way and we are trying to establish our own destiny by coming to the forefront of the ICT. Here, the library plays an important role by assisting the Government and the citizens by making new non-commercial publications released by the Ministries and Departments available online concurrently with other forms of dissemination. We are also trying to provide free access of information by installing 24-hours, 7-days information kiosks.
We are providing single window information system for all issues concerning the e-governance. The Government of India libraries are gearing up with this kind of an activity by developing machine readable catalogue and make it available on the network for wider accessibility. They are also developing machine readable full text documents to provide greater accessibility to full text databases of different nature and adapting them to international standards. They are also exploring ways and means to preserve the machine readable information in a way that can sustain the future requirements of ICT. They are also changing the focus of Government libraries from providing library services to fulfilling the long pending demand of right to information.
The Indian libraries have taken up this challenge and started developing machine readable catalogue. In addition, they are also developing full text catalogues and full text databases are also coming up. We have started implementing international standards not only in use of the ICT but also in use of the library activities. We have explored the ways and means to preserve the machine readable information in a way that can sustain the future requirements. In this regard, the Government libraries are changing their focus.
When we talk about governmental publications, the sphere of governmental activity in India has expanded considerably. Many burning issues like population control, health management, economic and social condition of rural and urban masses, education and basic requirements, etc., are coming in the fold of a governmental publication. In every field, the Government has intervened. When we see the governmental publications and its organisational activity, we find that this is being reflected through the Administrative Reports, governmental Notifications like Gazette Notifications, Circulars, Notices etc., Statistical Reports, Budget Documents, Committee and Commission Reports, Research Reports, Bills, Acts, laws, Codes, Rules and Regulations, Law Reports, Digests, Parliamentary Debates and Reports of various Parliamentary Committees.
The technological initiatives which have been taken up by the National Informatics Centre provide most of the information through a portal wherein different kinds of digital documents on the governmental activities can be accessed. National Informatics Centre is the one organisation in the Government which has the complete set of information about governmental activities. But the efforts made by NIC in a coordinated and digital document brought out by many departments do not form part of the website. There are many governmental Departments which have not placed their information on the websites. However, it is not the case. When I will touch upon the Central Secretariat Library, I will tell you that we are trying to get hold of that information and those documents and trying to put up on a web portal which will be useful for many of the activities which are being taken up by the Government.
Now, I will take up the status of Government libraries in India. We have examined some 82 libraries. We find that 20 per cent libraries have only 10,000 collections; 40 per cent about 10,000 to 50,000; 10 per cent are having collections between 50,000 to 1,00, 000; there are only three libraries in India which have more than 3,00,000 collections. I am talking about Government Libraries and not the Parliament Library. Twenty per cent of the Departments and Ministries do not have their own libraries
While taking into account the IT hardware, 50 per cent of the libraries have only one PC or the total number of PCs is to the extent of five only; 15 per cent libraries have in the range of six to ten; and only a handful of libraries have a sizeable number of PCs. However, there are 14 libraries which do not have a single PC installed in their libraries; 38 out of 82 libraries have servers installed.
When we take library applications, a majority of the libraries are operating their library applications on the Window platform and a large segment of them are using the LIBSYS. Operations are confined to development of online public access catalogue and acquisition activities. Other activities are not being taken care of by the Government libraries. Internet connectivity has been made available to the libraries either through the National Informatics Centre or the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited. Some of them still have the dial-up system. I was surprised to see that kind of a dial-up system still being used by Government libraries. No library of the Government of India has an independent website. Information about libraries associated with its parent organisations website is either not available or negligible. Even the Ministries and Departments, which have their own websites, do not promote their libraries.
I will now touch upon the activities which are being taken care of. The Central Secretariat Library has been recognised by the Government of India as a national resource centre for Government information. Our mission is: The Indian Initiative to ICT through their libraries will promote, facilitate the development of Indian tangible heritage from printed form to machine readable collections and provide services in order to utilise the resources optimally and provide life long accessibility of information through vast library resources[r15] .
The Central Secretariat Library has a collection of around 600,000. Out of that, we have a collection of 100,000 in the form of microfilm only. We are the depository of the World Bank publications. We are the depository of fourteen Constitutionally approved languages of India. We are catering to not only the Government officials, but we have also opened up the resources of the library for researchers, academicians, and anybody who wants to use the facilities. Not only the consultation facility but the borrowing facility is also being extended beyond the Government Departments.
We have taken a lot of initiatives by development of the machine-readable catalogue and the bibliographical information for document resources, creating digital documents of Annual Reports of parent organisation, and creating digital document of the Government of India Gazette from inception. We have 50 years Government of India Gazette Notifications and that is shortly going to come on the website. We are creating digital document of the Commission/Committee Reports. There are 5,000 Commission/Committee Reports of Government of India. All these 5,000 Commission/Committee Reports are being digitised by the Central Secretariat Library. It has around 1.2 million pages. The Gazette of India itself has something around four million pages.
We are developing machine readable, annotated bibliography of rare documents. We have something around 6,000 rare book documents starting from the year 1700 A.D. onward. We are developing a comprehensive Website to provide access to the Government information including the electronic document, online catalogue, one-window access to the e-government resources and e-governance resources.
Government information on the web which is likely to come is one-window linkage to all the latest and archival Government documents generated by different Ministries and Departments, independent Commissions and Committees, etc., in the form of Annual Reports, ad hoc reports, Commission/Committee Reports budgetary documents, etc. One-window linkage to all the e-governance activities initiated by the Central and State Governments. One-window linkage to all the Government of India Gazettes being placed on the Net by different Governmental Departments and Ministries.
What we have done is, we have created an archive of 50 years Gazette Notifications. Now we are interacting with various Ministries and Departments to put their Gazette Notifications on our website. It will automatically be generated through the Content Management System which we are going to use for the Gazette of India documents. It has a one-window accessibility of all the Government of India libraries. We have compiled the website in such a way that it becomes a portal to all the Government of India libraries.
The opportunities which were missing and which were not being made available by different Ministries and Departments, we will be giving those opportunities to all the Government Departments and the Government libraries to come to our fold and publicise their activities. We are also providing the provision to download the bibliographical data of different libraries for the purpose of developing their own catalogue.
When we talk about the CSL website, it has a historical background. We have given a historical background of CSL. It is the first time that somebody will be getting the information or looking for the information historically as to how the CSL has developed. It has about 160 years of origin. So, there is a requirement that we have to go to the historicity of the Central Secretariat Library, which is being developed as a National Resource Centre. We have given a Powerpoint presentation on the tour of the Library. The Library rules are being promoted. We have also submitted a report on the web, which is related to the retrospective conversion of bibliographical records called Operation Record. Two important model tender and contract documents of the retro-conversion and digitisation project are also coming up on the website. The activities of the High-Powered Committee of Government of India libraries are also being placed on the website.
CSL is using a lot of publications like Book News. It is a quarterly update. We have a culture update. Culture update is the amalgamation of various bits of information coming out in the Internet arena. We are editing some of the information which is associated with the cultural activities and placing it at one-window information along with the hyperlinks for the complete activity related to that cultural issue.
We have placed a compendium of the major Government of India reports on the library and information services. It is something around a 1200 page report. Around 15 reports generated in the field of library science by the Government of India from time to time have been placed on the website. We have placed cultural policy of the world on the Net. About 40 countries cultural policy has been brought in at one place and placed on the website. We have an annotated bibliography of rare book documents. The CSL website will also have the Government of India publications and it will have a one-window information which I have already explained to you.
It will have an online public access catalogue of 500,000 publications, documents which are available in the Central Secretariat Library. It has a full text digital document on Gazette of India and Commission/Committee Reports. The Government of India Gazette is being used under ISYS Content Management System. For Commission and Committee Reports, D-Space open archive system will be used. The Portal of India has statistical information about the Government of India libraries and linkages for those libraries who have developed their websites for global access. The website is at the testing stage and it is csl.nic.in.
I would put here Thomas Jeffersons very important anecdote. It says, Information is the currency of democracy. Although it is very difficult to find out this particular quotation and link it with Thomas Jefferson, this has been used by him in many of the speeches which he has given on the issues relating to democracy. At one place, someone has brought it out as a caption that information is the currency of the democracy.
To evaluate the success of the Government programmes, to be able to assert their rights, to debate the issues of the day, citizens must have access to current and historic sources of the information generated by the Government. Government libraries need to find ways and means to reach to its citizen and Governmental information in an electronic environment. The currency is the Mantra.
This is a word of caution. As we move into the electronic era of the digital objects, it is important to know that there are new librarians at the gate and that we are moving into an era where much of what we know today, much of what is coded and written electronically, will be lost for ever. We are, to my mind, living in the midst of digital dark ages. Consequently, much as monks of the time passed, it falls to the librarians and archivers to hold the tradition which reverses the history and the published heritage of our times. It is a word of caution to most of the users of the ICT, or the promoters of the ICT, that the basic function of the library, the traditionality of the library needs to be maintained by the librarians.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I thank Dr. Shailendra Kumar and Dr. Majumdar for their informative and detailed talks. In fact, I also did not know much of the CSL activities, which I came to know today. Thank you for that. We do not have much time now - we have only seven to eight minutes. Unless there is some pressing question, we may request Mr.Nautiyal to propose a vote of thanks.
MR. N.K. SAPRA, LOK SABHA (INDIA): Dr. Majumdar, I would like to know - he haS dealt at length about the activities of CSL - a little about maps. Have you got a collection of maps? We have been facing problems in Parliament Library in this regard because so far as the authenticity is concerned, we can have maps published only by the Government.
DR. S. MAJUMDAR, CSL - NEW DELHI (INDIA): In fact, when I landed in CSL, I went across the library and started searching the huge maps and others things, which are supposed to be part of the library. We found very few maps in the CSL. I had a lengthy discussion with my Bureau head, Shri Vivek Ray, Joint Secretary on why not we explore the possibility of getting the Survey of India maps. When we interacted with the Survey of India, they said, no, we will not part with the information of the maps. Anybody and everybody who wants to use authentic maps - I am not talking about the commercial maps - it would be better that they visit their own library in the Survey of India. That is how we have a very few maps in the CSL.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Of course, there is a beautiful collection of maps in the National Library of Calcutta and a lot of historic maps are available there. They are now working on preservation of maps also.
MR. N.K. SAPRA, LOK SABHA (INDIA): I think, we do also have a good collection of maps. Dr. Chadha, of course, should take the initiative to develop the collection of available maps. We can also try to contact those people in Dehradun and request them to provide a copy to the CSL and to Parliament as well.
DR. S. MAJUMDAR, CSL - NEW DELHI (INDIA): Certainly, it will be very beneficial if these maps do come to the CSL.
MR. INAYAT ULLAH (PAKISTAN): Have you prepared any multi-lingual software for cataloguing of library books in Hindi, English and Urdu?
MR. CHAIRMAN: In fact, cataloguing in Urdu is a little problem. Rest of the Indian languages are there in our catalogue. In fact, initiative was taken by one of the Government agencies known as CEDAT. Initially they developed a software known as ISM where all the Indian languages could be used in the computer and we could use even our catalogue in different languages. But, of late, Microsoft has taken some initiative and developed facilities in UNICORD for all the Indian languages and all major Indian languages are covered. In fact, whatever library software are available in India, are all multi-lingual, and we are making use of Hindi, English and other languages catalogue. In fact, Parliament Library itself is bringing out the latest edition in bilingual format - Hindi and English books are there. For other regional languages, we are giving transliteration.
DR. S. MAJUMDAR, CSL - NEW DELHI (INDIA): In fact, as far as Urdu fonts are concerned, CEDAT has been using nastalic. I presume that my Pakistan colleague must be very familiar with nastalic, as it is being used. But there are a large number of Urdu speaking population who do not promote nastalic but we have no alternative. UNICORD is also using nastalic; ISM is also using nastalic. In fact, VTLS is also coming out with Urdu font in nastalic.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Now, Mr. Nautiyal, will be presenting a vote of thanks.
MR. SUNIL DUTT NAUTIYAL, RAJYA SABHA (INDIA): Thank you. On behalf of the members of APLAP present here, I extend a vote of thanks to Dr. Jagdish Arora from IIT, Delhi, which is better known as the gateway to success, and is one of the prestigious institutions in India; Dr. Shailendra Kumar from Delhi University and Dr. Majumdar from CSL, who have given excellent presentations.
Dr. Jagdish Arora from IIT, Delhi has really provided us an insight into the evolution of the library information services in India and has underlined the need for training of the library information personnel, especially to keep pace with the changing scenario in the IT. He has highlighted the pooling of the IT resources for sharing human, material and physical resources. This is very important, particular, in the context of the developing countries because it has often been discussed that there existed a digital divide between the developing and developed countries. It really helps the developing countries like India to adapt ourselves to the new emerging technologies. This was really an important point.
Dr. Shailender Kumar from Delhi University has told us about the dynamics of telecast media library in India and particularly in the context of the increasing role of the print media companies and satellite channels. He has told us about the problems being faced by the media libraries in India and the need of trained staff.
Dr. Majumdar has really given an insight into the role of Government library in the e-governance in our country. He has very rightly pointed out about the concept of the SMART. This novel concept of the e-governance is very important in addressing the problems of the delays and inefficiency faced by the common people in the government delivery systems. He highlighted the benefits of e-governance. The idea behind this novel concept of e-governance is to deepen the parliamentary democracy by making the Government accountable.
You might be knowing that Parliament has passed a Right to Information Bill in 2002 to bring more transparency in the functioning of the Government. This law, which is before the Parliament now, is again being amended by Parliament. Dr. Majumdar has mentioned comprehensively about the activities of the CSL, which is one of the largest repositories of knowledge, next only to the National Library in Kolkata[R17] .
These excellent presentations given by the speakers would inspire us who are working in the democratic institutions like the Parliament and State Legislatures to adopt the new information technology for the use of our Members, for the media and for the public at large.
I would like to inform you that Rajya Sabha has also got a website, which gives the information about various activities of the functioning of the House. This website is a bilingual one and is exclusively dedicated to the Rajya Sabha for the benefit of the Hindi-speaking Members. Apart from that, we have also done web-casting of the live proceedings of Rajya Sabha. This was inaugurated by our Chairman at the time of 200th Session of Rajya Sabha in December, 2003. This is an important step taken by Rajya Sabha, which is the first of its kind in any legislature in India.
Now, it has been said that there has to be an interface between the Parliament and media. We, in Rajya Sabha, took an important step by establishing Press and Media Unit in Rajya Sabha to disseminate information about the activities of the Parliament in the media, both print and electronic, and two of our officers from Research and Library Wing are working in this Unit. This Unit has been engaged in highlighting the important activities relating to the Rajya Sabha and its Committees in the Press and media. I would like to tell you that recently when Tsunami came, our hon. Chairman, Rajya Sabha and the hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha had issues an appeal to the Members of Parliament to contribute from their MPLAD fund towards rehabilitation of the victims of the Tsunami. Due to the efforts of the Press and Media Unit, I may tell you that around ten national newspapers and other dailies covered this news apart from the electronic media. As a result of it, there has been a tremendous response on the part of the Members of Parliament to contribute from their MPLAD funds for the victims of the Tsunami.
Another important point which I would like to mention here is this. Yesterday, Mr. N.K. Sapra gave a very detailed lecture about bringing Parliament closer to the people. On the occasion of the 200th Session of Rajya Sabha, we organised a Seminar on the Role and Relevance of Rajya Sabha in Indian Polity. For the first time, students from the Central universities, IITs, IIMs were invited to witness the proceedings of the Seminar. There was an overwhelming response on the part of the students from these prestigious universities and a total of 83 students had come to witness the proceedings of the Seminar. I would like to tell Dr. Jagdish Arora that students from all the IITs had come for this Seminar. Five students each were invited from all the IITs. This was an important step to familiarise the students about the functioning of the parliamentary democracy.
Having said that, I would like to conclude by saying that the excellent presentation given by our speakers will definitely inspire all those who are working in parliamentary institutions, to apply and make use of the information technology in our parliamentary institutions for the benefit of the Members, for the media and for the general public at large. Thank you.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Thank you Mr. Nautial for enlightening us about the activities of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat as well. We will disperse for tea and after that we have the next programme in Committee Room F.
The Conference re-assembled after Lunch at 1511 hours.
(Mr. Ramesh Chander Ahuja, India in the Chair)
MR. CHAIRMAN: Good afternoon friends. Now, we are in the closing session of this Conference. First of all, I have to give you the good news about the membership of the new Executive Committee. The General Business Meeting has elected the following as the members of the next Executive Committee.
President -- Dr. Karl-Min Ku
Vice-President (Asia) -- Ms. Azeemunnisa Khan
Vice-President (Pacific) -- Ms. Katherine Close. She has already left.
Secretary -- Ms. Roslynn Membrey
Treasurer -- Ms. Rasieli Bau.
Now, I would request the President-elect, Dr. Karl-Min Ku to say a few words.
DR. KARL-MIN KU (CHINESE TAIPEI) : Respected President, Mr. Ramesh Chander Ahuja, ladies and gentlemen, let me first of all thank you for trusting me to lead this beloved organisation, the APLAP again. I think that this APLAP Biennial Conference has provided us an excellent opportunity to enjoy the unique Indian culture. We all gathered good experience on our visit to the marvellous city of Agra. We also appreciate the structure of the parliamentary system of India. I hope we would visit this beautiful country again as soon as possible. The development of the Indian Parliament Library is the most important part of this Conference which has to be explored. Our main concern is the implementation of ICT technology application and its information system in our Parliament library on the lines of Indian Parliament.
Just as Secretary-General, Mr. G.C. Malhotra, has mentioned in his Key Note speech of this Conference, we all learnt the Indian philosophy of parliament librarianship and its current studies of the development. We also think that the international information brings the most valuable and the comparative source to each parliament library indeed. Our APLAP colleagues, I think, must encourage each other more than before and also work together more closely than before. Personally, I believe that we can make it a better reality.
Last but not least, let us all express our deep appreciation to the Indian Parliament, particularly the staff of Lok Sabha Secretariat, and the leadership of the whole Indian Parliament again on this occasion when it is just going to close. Thank you once again.
MR. CHAIRMAN: On this occasion, we need to be enlightened by the Secretary-elect, Ms. Roslynn Membrey. I request her to say a few words.
MS. ROSLYNN MEMBREY (AUSTRALIA): Thank you President. I just wanted to thank you all and congratulate you all for conducting such a successful and friendly Conference. I think it has been one of the best Conferences we have had. I think about the night when we came back from Agra. It was half past 12, a very cold night standing on the railway platform. The gate was closed and we could not get out. In Australia, my friends would have got very angry and would have been ready to tear somebody apart. We stood and politely waited till the gates were opened. I think it is a testimony to show how patient, respectful and friendly we all are. After a very long day we were tired. But we still managed to keep a good humour. That, to me, is going to mean a lot when I go back home and think about it. I have met a lot of old friends during this Conference and I have made a lot of new friends.
I hope to be able to exchange e-mails with you. More importantly, perhaps see you in New Zealand in 2006. I particularly acknowledge the work of my new friend, Mr. K. Vijayakrishnan, and his staff who have done such a wonderful job organising this Conference and looking after us so well. We really have not to do anything at all. It has just been done for us. It has been marvellous.
There is just one message that I wanted to pass on to you. Many delegates for the last few days have asked me how to become a member of APLAP. All you need to do is to pay your subscription fee. If you are really interested in becoming a member of APLAP, send me an e-mail and I will send out an invoice to you and as soon as that is paid, I will enter your name in the membership roll of the APLAP. After that you will receive copies of our news letter, invitations to our next Conference and any other information that goes out to APLAP members.
Just one little caution. I will not be answering e-mails in the next four weeks, not till the 28th February. I am taking some leave after this Confernece. So, if you do not hear from me before the 28th February, do not think that I have forgotten who you are. It is just that I am a bit busy on leave.
Let me finish by saying that I wish all the international visitors a safe journey home. I wish all the local staff who have made our visit such a success that they have a nice long rest once they put us on our planes and we go.
MR. CHAIRMAN: Does any of you want to say anything or want to share your experience about the Conference?
MS. ZUNAINI MOHD. SALLEH (MALAYSIA): Thank you, Mr. President. On behalf of the Malaysian Parliament and on behalf of my other delegates and my friends here, I would like to thank the Indian Parliament for the great hospitality that they have extended to us in the past six days. I really appreciate the arrangements they made for each day of this Conference. He was really hectic. We were complaining that there is ho shopping. But we are looking forward to shopping today and tomorrow. But, I am sure, you have put in a lot of work and effort to organise this Conference. We do not see the behind-the-scene work done. By attending this Conference, I believe you have really put in so much effort to make this Conference a success.
I and my colleague as also all my friends really appreciate it because it went so well each day. It went so smoothly. I saw so many of your staff doing all the duties they had to do. They make sure that we are on time here. They are picking up the delegates. The room is so clean. Good flowers are kept. All these are small things but they mean a lot to us. I really appreciate it.
On behalf of us, I really like to thank you all. Thank you for arranging this wonderful Conference.
DR. (MS.) ROSEY SAILO DAMODARAN, RAJYA SABHA (INDIA): Although we belong to the same Parliament, yet I suppose I should still speak to thank the Lok Sabha Secretariat especially for inviting us, and also the APLAP. We are very happy to represent the Rajya Sabha Secretariat and to be present here for the first time. Hopefully, this will not be the last time that Rajya Sabha is represented.
On behalf of my colleague here, we would like to say that we have really benefited from this Conference. One thing which is important is that sharing cannot happen between equals only. So, it is interesting to see that there are some libraries which are yet to come up, which are already on their way, which are already very much developed. I think all of us have learnt from each other and even from the ones which are not yet so developed. So, at least, that is how we can, I suppose, implement what we have been talking about sharing of publications. We wanted to be the first ones to share. This afternoon, we were sharing some publications. I do hope that you will read them. We will be very much happy to get some feedback. That will encourage us and inspire us a lot for future work.
In this Conference, I especially found some of the aspects of library very much important like the stress on in-training for the researchers and the librarians who are in this information dissemination job. There were also many others aspects regarding information technology, how it is being used for dissemination of information, how one should continue to attach importance to the print media. It is my personal opinion that we cannot still be with the paperless library work. Maybe, we will continue to go side by side. All these things are useful for the development of our Parliamentary system, for better working. So, I thank you very much.
MR. INAYAT ULLAH (THE PUNJAB PAKISTAN): Will the Secretary throw some light on the rules of membership of APLAP? Can the State Legislatures become members of APLAP? What are the procedures? Can one become life member or annual member? What is the fee charged for it?
MS. ROSLYNN MEMBREY (AUSTRALIA): Yes, I am sorry I have not told about that aspect. I should have explained that a little more. The Provincial Legislatures can become members of APLAP. I can quote the example of Australia where not only the Australian Parliament is a member of APLAP but some of the State Legislatures of Australia are members of APLAP. They pay $ 100 towards annual membership fee. That means, they become the members. So, it is the same thing that applies to all other Provincial and State Legislatures in APLAP countries.
MR. FRANK CHRISTOPHER, LOK SABHA (INDIA): Right at the beginning, Ms.Roslynn Membrey described that we have patience. So, we say this with patience. Of course, we sometimes do become impatient.
I take this occasion especially to thank the outgoing office bearers for all that they have given us. We congratulate the in-coming office bearers, the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary and, of course, in respect of money matters, the Treasurer is important. So, I thank them all.
I thought that since we are winding up today, we have an opportunity to say a few words. It was wonderful to hear all the speakers from all the countries. As we are all aware, learning is a life-long process. Getting knowledge and information is also a life-long process. I just wanted to share with you two things. We had an opportunity to go through one of the Papers. What was said by one of the consultants from Australia is appearing in the last page. It has a lot of meaning for implementation. As was mentioned by some of us, some of us are not giving due importance to both aspects of tradition and modern things. But he just says in two lines a lot. He says:
The digital information is not inherently human, readable. It is dependent on machines for its creation and use.
So, we are all conscious of it. While I was reading this, I thought of the sacred document - the Constitution - of all the countries, of all the parliamentary democracies that went into making of the Constitution. All the minds go into the making of the Constitution. We have to think of the time they take. They sign it. They make it very much personal and humane. The Constitution has significance in all the countries. It should be retained. It has to be retained. It has been mentioned that this is a paperless society. I think we can just reverse a little because words are important. They say it is paperless. But it can be with less paper. So, we should have a less paper society and we can go hand in hand.
Next, human touch is important because whichever part of the world we belong to, the human touch is very important. The delegate from Vietnam in one of his Papers mentioned one thing. I will just read that paragraph which is equally important. It says:
While we are making full use of the potentials brought about by information technologies, it is necessary not to exclude the traditional forms of storage. It is because no copy could completely replace the genuine, original of a work. To fully appreciate the document, people should not only read the text, but also feel it in their hands[R20] .
This is especially so of Researchers and Text Linguists who are interested in the form of correspondence and letters which have turned yellow over a period of time.
I will just say lastly about the Keynote Address by our Secretary-General. Since we are all with Parliament Libraries as Parliamentary Information Managers, he said right in the beginning that, As Association, exchange of ideas and sharing professional experiences in rendering information services to the Members of supreme representative institutions in our respective countries is the beginning. This is not the end because it is valid. Thank you.
MR. ABU DAWOOD (BANGLADESH): This is the first time that I am attending this very nice Conference of APLAP. This is not my first visit, but this is my second visit to Parliament because in 1995, I was doing my parliamentary fellowship over here. At that time, this building was not here. It was under construction. Anyway, for the last few days I have been here and this is my feeling that I am not out of my country. I am just feeling that I am in my country. The delegates who are participating in this Conference are like members of a family. This is my request to all of us to keep in contact all the time. Now-a-days, e-mail is not very costly to keep in touch with each other every time.
I congratulate the President, Dr. Karl-Min Ku, the outgoing President and Ms. Roslynn Membrey. I had a long talk with her about how to improve our family. We do not have any permanent address. It is just a mobile Association. If possible, we should have a permanent address. Also, we do not have enough funds. We have to think as to how we can raise the fund. I have some suggestions. We can approach the organisations like the UNDP of the United Nations. They fund us in different ways. So, we should think about that. For the last 14 years, we are floating. We should have an address. That is all from me.
I am congratulating everybody, every staff of the BPST, Parliament and all those who welcomed me like their lost brother. They have seen me after a long time. Any way, thank you everyone.
MR. CHAIRMAN: I think it is time to close the Conference. As the outgoing President, I should also have my say.
Distinguished Additional Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Shri John Joseph, distinguished office bearers of APLAP, distinguished delegates and observers, my colleagues from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha Secretariats, ladies and gentlemen!
The time has now come to bid all of you farewell. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Eighth Biennial Conference of the APLAP, which was inaugurated by the hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha on 18th January, 2005, is concluding today after very meaningful deliberations.
A Conference of this nature, I am sure, would have been very difficult to organise without the enthusiastic support of one and all. At the outset, I take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha, esteemed Shri Somnath Chatterjee for his kind patronage of the Conference and for having inaugurated the Conference with his thought provoking Address which was inspiring indeed.
We are equally grateful to the hon. Deputy-Speaker of Lok Sabha, Sardar Charnjit Singh Atwal for his kind support and for his benign presence at the inaugural function. We are grateful to all the members of the Library Committee of Parliament and members of the Parliamentary Committees on Provision of Computers, hon. Ministers of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and several other hon. Members for their benign presence in the function of the Conference.
I would also like to express my profound gratitude to the distinguished Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, Shri G.C. Malhotra for his constant support and guidance in organising this Conference. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration if I say that he was the driving force behind this Conference. I must also thank Dr. Yogendra Narain, the distinguished Secretary-General of Rajya Sabha for providing all the support and encouragement for the success of the Conference. We are equally grateful to our distinguished Additional Secretary, Shri John Joseph and all my senior colleagues for their guidance and advice.
The hon. Speaker, the hon. Deputy-Speaker and the learned Secretaries-General of both Houses were gracious enough in hosting lunches and dinners for the delegates. We are beholden to them for their warm gesture.
We have also benefited from the guidance and support extended to us by Ms. Roslynn Membrey, Secretary and Treasurer of APLAP, my brother colleague, Dr. Karl-Min Ku, Vice-President (Asia) of APLAP, Ms. Jean Chapman-Mason, Vice-President (Pacific) and the new office bearers of APLAP. All of them very generously shared their experience and gave valuable suggestions which helped us a lot in organising this Conference and having a very fruitful deliberations at the Conference.
I am also grateful to the learned Keynote speakers and distinguished delegates who presented Country Papers, made interventions and participated in the deliberations of the Conference. I also owe a sense of gratitude to all the delegates for having come all the way from their respective countries to participate in the Conference.
So many people have worked silently behind the scene for the success of this Conference. They deserve to be thanked by one and all. They include the officers and staff of the Library and Reference, Research, Documentation and Information Service, Computer Division and other Divisions of LARRDIS including the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training, the Conference Branch, Press and Public Relations Division, the Audio-Visual Section, the Works and General Branch, the Watch and Ward Service, Reporters Branch, Interpreters Branch, MS Branch, Welfare Branch and Administration Branch of the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Printing and Rotaprinting and Printing, Distribution Branches of the Secretariat and several other Branches of the Secretariat. The Doctors in the Parliament Complex and at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital extended all help to the needy Delegates for which we are very grateful. We also thank the officers and staff of the CPWD and the Northern Railway Catering Service for their wholehearted cooperation.
We received substantial support from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat also. We are grateful to them for their valuable help. I also thank my colleague and Director of Research and Information Division, Shri Vijayakrishnan and his dedicated team of officers and staff, particularly Shrimati Manju Sharma, Assistant Director, Ms. Samita Bhowmick and Shri M.K. Sharma, Research Officer who had tirelessly worked for weeks together, almost non-stop for organising the Conference.
The[e23] learned Delegates meaningfully participated, made interventions and interacted in the deliberations and shared their mutual experiences towards effective management of Legislature Libraries and their staff. We gratefully acknowledge their valuable contributions.
I am particularly grateful to the distinguished Secretary-General, Lok Sabha, for his inspiring Keynote Address. All through, the emphasis was on how best to serve our institutions and our ultimate clientele, the peoples representatives - the hon. Members of Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies.
We have already adopted the New Delhi Communiqué, which embodies the spirit of the Eighth Biennial APLAP Conference. The Communiqué reflects our conviction that we need to further the aims and objectives of APLAP through concerted action, sharing our resources and expertise and experience. We need to imbibe the best of technologies to better our services to the Parliamentarians. In the coming decades, the expectations of our Parliamentarians would be of a high order, especially in the context of the remarkable advances in information and communication technologies. It is our bounden duty to take in these advances and facilitate easy access to authentic and objective information. An APLAP Information Network, which the learned Secretary-General of Lok Sabha spoke about in his Keynote Address, would substantially help in the process of information sharing among the APLAP fraternity.
I am sure, the deliberations of the Eighth APLAP Conference would go a long way in furthering improving our efficiency and the efficacy of the Library, Reference and Research Services in our Parliaments.
I hope and trust that all of you had a very comfortable stay and you enjoyed your visit to India, particularly the visit to Agra and the local sightseeing in Delhi. I also hope, you would carry home fond memories of your sojourn here.
With these few words, I bid you farewell and wish you all a safe journey back home. We hope to see you again for the Ninth APLAP Conference in New Zealand in 2006.
The Conference then adjourned sine die.
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