Wednesday, April 15, 2009

STC on "Current Awareness Services"

NITTTR, Chandigarh is organizing STC on "Current Awareness Services" from April 27-29,2009 at NITTTR, Chandigarh

Role of the Government and the Public Libraries in the Emerging Knowledge Society"

dear e-Granthalaya users,

An invited talk on "Role of the Government and the Public Libraries in the Emerging Knowledge Society" was delivered during National Conference on Public Libraries during April 1-3 2009. The Full text talk is being attached with this email. Feel free to send your comments to


with regards

Ram Kumar Matoria
Technical Director
Library & Information Services Division
A-Block, CGO Complex,
New Delhi -110 003

Ph. 011-24305487
IP Phone: 5487

“Role of the Government and the Public Libraries in the
Emerging Knowledge Society”
“Sewa Ratna” Madaswamy Moni
Deputy Director General
National Informatics centre
Government of India
New Delhi
Invited Talk
National Conference on Public Libraries
(Theme: “Role of Public Libraries in the Emerging Knowledge Society in India’)
1-3 April 2009
Organized by
Librarians Cultural Forum (LCF) & India International Centre (IIC)
New Delhi – 110 003
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Professor Mangla,
Professor J. L. Sardana,
Dr Narender Kumar,
Madame Sushma Zutshi, and
Distinguished delegates of this National Conference on Public Libraries,
I am very happy to participate in this important Conference. There
are many reasons to participate and deliberate issues related to the topic
given to me. The Topic is “Role of Government and Public Libraries in the
emerging Knowledge Societies in India”. I am given to understand that
this conference lays special emphasis on the growth and development of
public libraries in North East Region of the country as also on the role,
functions, structure etc., of the “National Mission for Libraries”
recommended by the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) of India.
Every one of us, now, uses to interact with terminologies viz., egovernment
& e-Governance (G2G, G2B, G2C, G2E models), Knowledge
economy, Knowledge society, Knowledge management, Networked
Society, Information Society, Citizen engagement, Knowledge creation,
Knowledge dissemination, Knowledge marketing, Knowledge Processing
Organizations (KPOs) cultural barriers, operational barriers, and
bureaucracy in practical form.
Professor Sardana has invited to talk on “Role of the Government
and the Public Libraries in the Emerging Knowledge Society” today. I wish
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to consider first: Emerging Knowledge Society, then the role of Public
Libraries and later the Role of Government.
To begin with,
I wish to quote the Address of Lord Macaulay1 to the British
Parliament on 2nd February 1835:
• “I have traveled across the length and breadth of India
and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who
is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country,
such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do
not think we would ever conquer this country, unless
we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her
spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore, I
propose that we replace her old and ancient
education system, her culture, for if the Indians
think that all that is foreign and English is good and
greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem,
their native culture and they will become what we want
them, a truly dominated nation”.
• Nalanda University (5th Century A.D. to 12th Century A.D.)
With advent of higher learning in India, the agricultural knowledge
society, artisan knowledge society, handicraft knowledge society,
handlooms knowledge society etc., disappeared in India during the British
Raj, and afterwards also in the Independent India.
1 Lord Macaulay was the Member of British Parliament & Member of the Supreme Council of India formed by the British
Government in 1834), traveled India for about 4 years and then wrote to the British Government, as referred below.
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I am really honored to talk to the august gathering of Library and
Information Science Professionals, even though I am not a student of
Library and Information Science. However, I have been a User and
Promoter of “Library” for information and Knowledge dissemination in
the era of “National e-Governance”, to benefit the “Common-Man”.
Also I have a professional ambition to synergize the disciplines of
“LIS” and “Computer Science” for a new discipline called “digital library
science” to take advantage of internet technology for “content &
knowledge management” in research, development, education, extension
and training. I have been constantly articulating this view in all the
professional forums. This discipline will usher in a new job discipline
called “knowledge worker” or “information researcher” for LIS
professionals. Job opportunity will be more for the LIS professionals and
even more than Computer Applications professionals. In addition to this,
India needs a “National University of Library & Information Science”,
incorporating all the Faculties of Library & Information Sciences of
various Universities and Colleges, to cope up with the developments
taking place in the Developed Countries.
Shaping the Digit@l Future for All
Shaping the “Digit@l Future for All” is an in-depth look at
Information and Communication Technology - and how it has enabled an
expanding digital world, inextricably linked to our physical existence but
revolutionary, in terms of, human creativity and thought. New
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technologies for mobile communication, massively distributed
collaboration and real-time information sharing are radically impacting
human expressions, interactions and records. We can anticipate a
continuing demand for powerful information organization, aggregation
and dissemination tools to harness these new information realities. There
is where “Open Access, Stamped Open Source Stack and Open Libraries”
is a much-needed “path” for Library and Information Science
Professionals in the country and elsewhere too.
For the developing world, Open Access is likely to increase
scientists and academics capacity to both access and contribute to world
science. Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. The International
Definitions, commonly referred to as “BBB Definitions” - Budapest
(February 2002), Bethesda (June 2003), and Berlin (October 2003)
Definitions of "Open Access" are the most central and influential for the
OA movement. There have been major OA Statements (Peter Suber,
2007)2, in chronological order, as given below:-
• Budapest Open Access Initiative (February 14, 2002);
• Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (June 20,
• ACRL Principles and Strategies for the Reform of
Scholarly Communication (August 28, 2003);
• Wellcome Trust position statement on open access
(October 1, 2003);
• Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the
Sciences and Humanities (October 22, 2003);
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• UN World Summit on the Information Society Declaration
of Principles and Plan of Action (December 12, 2003);
• OECD Declaration on Access to Research Data From
Public Funding (January 30, 2004);
• IFLA Statement on Open Access to Scholarly Literature
and Research Documentation (February 24, 2004);
• Australian Group of Eight Statement on open access to
scholarly information (May 25, 2004);
• Salvador Declaration on Open Access: the developing
world perspective (23 September 2005).
In India too, the Draft Indian National Open Access Policy 2006 has
been framed, in the Bangalore Workshop on “Electronic Publishing and
Open Access”3, towards adopting full Open Access to publicly-funded
research publications, and its statements were running as follows:-
“Building on the Budapest Open Access Initiative
recommendations, and past Declarations of
commitments to the strategy of Open Access,
particularly the Salvador International Declaration
on Open Access for Developing Countries, and
Recognizing the benefits that Open Access will
bring to the strengthening of science, participants
to the Workshop agreed the following model
National Open Access Policy for Developing
National Open Access Policy for Developing Countries
The [country-name] Government/Government
Department expects the authors of papers reporting
publicly funded research to maximise the
3 at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 2-3 November 2006.; and supported by the Open Society Institute (
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accessibility, usage and applications of their findings.
To this end: As a condition for research funding,
the [country-name] Government:
1. Requires electronic copies of any research
papers that have been accepted for publication
in a peer-reviewed journal, and are supported
in whole or in par by Government funding, to
be deposited in an institutional digital
repository [IR] immediately upon acceptance
for publication;
2. Encourages Government Grant Holders to
provide Open Access to their deposited papers
immediately upon deposit;
3. Encourages Government Grant Holders to
publish in a suitable Open Access Journal where
one exists.
If the Government of India is yet to announce its OA Policy as
enshrined in the Model Policy Statement, then I will suggest that this
National Conference may adopt as this as one of its Resolutions and
forward to the Ministry of Culture, under whose jurisdictions, Library has
been included as one of its “Business of Allocations”. This Open Policy
shall also be enshrined in the most powerful Indian “Right To Information
(RTI) 2005” ACT. Then only the Open Access will promote “equity”. The
National e-Governance Programme with its 1,10,000 Common Services
Centres can facilitate “Access” to Open information in the Country.
Towards Faster and More Inclusive Growth
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The Theme of the Workshop seems to be more appropriate, when
the Government of India has adopted “Towards Faster and More Inclusive
Growth” during the XI Plan Period, to achieve 10% GDP Growth Rate. This
means, the XI PLAN addressed the UN-REACHABLE, UN-SERVED and
UNDER-SERVED. India marches ahead in “ECONOMIC GROWTH” but
“BHARAT” (i.e. Rural India) attains “DIFFERENT MEANING to DIFFERENT
PEOPLE” status. India has shown its willingness to become a
“KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY” in the 21st Century. All of us know and studied,
the GREAT NALANDA UNIVERSITY had the Curriculum (Knowledge), which
attracted scholars from different parts of the World, during 5th Century to
12th Century A.D. in India.
The Planning Commission, in its XI Five Year Plan titled “Towards
faster and More Inclusive Growth” (, has
suggested that the 11th Plan provides an opportunity to restructure
policies to achieve a new vision based on faster, more broad-based and
inclusive growth, and is designed to reduce poverty and focus on
bridging the various divides that continue to fragment our society
through measures such as : targeting robust agricultural growth at 4 per
cent, reducing disparities across regions and communities in respect of
physical infrastructures, health and education services, recognizing
gender across all sectors, and promoting rights of the common person.
The Document identified, among the others, farming, micro, small and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) to play a critical role in achieving the
objective of faster and more inclusive growth. The 11th Plan aims at
putting the economy on a sustainable growth trajectory with the growth
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rate of approximately 10 per cent by 2012. Some major challenges to be
met during the Plan are as follows:-
• Agricultural crisis: regaining Agricultural Dynamism
• Changing Employment Pattern
• Providing essential services to the Poor
• Increasing Manufacturing Competitiveness
• Developing Human resources
• Protecting the Environment
• Improving Rehabilitation and Resettlement Practices
• Improving Governance
• Disparities and Divides
Looking ahead, the Document has suggested that it was necessary to
move beyond defining the role for Panchayat Raj institutions (PRIs) and
Urban Local Governments in individual programmes towards the
constitutionally mandated procedure for developing District Level Plans,
working from the village / municipal level upwards. The 11th Plan puts
special focus on “Services Sector” which accounts for 54 per cent of GDP
and is currently the fastest-growing sector of the economy. State Wide
Area Network (SWAN), funded by the Government of India provides
connectivity to 6000 Block Headquarters on fibre optic network and
Wireless Technology options are being discussed to provide “last mile
connectivity” to every village from the block headquarters.
Emerging Knowledge Society: Transition from Information
Society to Knowledge Society
A knowledge society is one in which knowledge becomes a major
creative force, and "creates, shares and uses knowledge for the
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prosperity and well-being of its people" (
Knowledge has become the most important capital in the present age,
and hence the success of any society lies in harnessing it.
India has, from time immemorial, worshiped ‘knowledge’ in the
form of “Saraswati”, the goddess of knowledge. The 21st century has
been acknowledged worldwide as the 'knowledge century'. With current
technologies, knowledge societies need not be constrained by geographic
proximity. For us to be in the Knowledge society, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam,
our former President of India, while addressing the Faculties and
Students, said that “we need three networks - The Knowledge
Network, the Transport Network and the River Network. India has a
rich civilization and post independent India has focused itself as a
technology leader in Space, Defence, Agriculture and certain areas of
Industry. With IT and telecom emerging as core competence of the
nation, transforming India into a knowledge society, I see the
developed India is not too far” (
As professionals, we come across terminologies viz., information
society, information revolution, knowledge economy, intellectual capital,
Knowledge building, knowledge divide, meta-knowledge and Open (Libre)
Knowledge. Information Technology and Knowledge Workers have got a
tremendous responsibility to contribute in the areas of tele-medicine,
tele-education and e-governance for rural areas, apart from their
business role. The Mission 2007 observed that “Achieving sustainable
human security is a priority task. This will call for harmony with nature
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and with each other. Knowledge connectivity within and among countries
will help to achieve this goal. This is why we should make ‘Mission 2007:
Every village Knowledge Centre a success”.
India has taken a step forward with the creation of Knowledge
Commission in 2005 with the objective to come forward with creative
ideas to promote the ‘knowledge base’ of our economy and to exploit the
vast potential that lies hidden. "We must leverage it to make India truly
the ‘Knowledge Engine of the world". I wish to quote G.N. Ray, while
delivering his speech titled "Transition From Information Society To
Knowledge Society: An Indian Perspective” in the Press Council of India
( “As the greatest
visionary of the modern world, Swami Vivekananda had said "All
knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the
infinite library of the universe is in our own mind."
For developing countries such as India, focusing on the vision of the
Information Society must occur in parallel with other socio-political
developments. Overcoming the divide must therefore be balanced
approach to other targets such as the UN Millennium Declaration
regarding hunger, poverty levels, education, gender inequality, health
and environmental resources.
The transformation of existing societal structures, by knowledge as
a core resource for economic growth, employment and as a factor of
production, must constitute the basis for designating advanced modern
society as a “knowledge society”, as the most valuable asset and
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investment in intangible, human and social capital, together with the
potential global value of our knowledge.
In the process of nation building, the media has a great role to play
by informing the people of developments taking place all around, guiding
them to right path, cautioning them against aberrations taking place and
moulding the views of administration whenever needed. Is it happening in
India? India has launched more than 400 T.V. Channels, 1500 newspapers
(both in English and vernacular languages), Radio channels including FM
channels. What do we witness today? Corruption has risen to a new
height and also the People below poverty level. According to Shri Rahul
Gandhi, member of Parliament, the targeted beneficiary gets only 5 % of
what Government sanctions (and his Father and the former Prime Minister
of India, Shri Rajiv Gandhi said two decades back that, only 17 paisa
reached the beneficiary). Where the 95% does goes? Who is the real
The National Knowledge Commission Report 2008 ((NKC, 2008)4
gives an overview as: “the emerging knowledge society and associated
opportunities present a set of new imperatives and new challenges for
our economy, polity and society. If we fail to capitalize on the
opportunities now, our demographic dividend could well become a
liability. The widening disparities in our country will translate into social
unrest, if urgent steps are not taken to build an inclusive society. And our
4 NKC (2008): “Towards a knowledge society: Three Years of the National Knowledge Commission”, Report of the National
Knowledge Commission, Government of India, 2008.
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growth rate, which is faltering now, will stagnate soon, if a sustainable
development paradigm is not created”.
The World Congress on the Knowledge Society 2009, to be held in
October 2009 ( aims to bring together
researchers, scientists, engineers, and scholar students to exchange and
share their experiences, new ideas, and research results about all aspects
of the Knowledge Society, and discuss the practical challenges
encountered and the solutions adopted.
There are more than 5 million unemployed graduates in the
country. We have to find out what skills they lack - based on regional,
national and global requirements - and prepare modules of training, for
upgradation of skills and knowledge subject wise, taking inputs from
students and prospective employers. In other words, open and distance
learning should have a major role in capacity building, rather than just
awarding degrees (Rajasekharan Pillai, 2008)5.
The concept of "knowledge-based society" laid emphasis on
providing education to all, empowering women and the girl child,
leveraging on existing competencies in information technology,
biotechnology, financial services and other select areas. Only this
approach would help the country leapfrog into the new millennium, even
while creating a humane and compassionate society
5 Rajasekharan Pillai (2008): “Building knowledge society with open and distance learning:: Equip, Educate, Empower”, digital
LEARNING, May 2008. He is Vice-Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Email:
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(Venkatasubramanian, 2003)6. The “knowledge society” would make
greater use of ICTs and increase skills and knowledge of people to
achieve social and individual development.
This contrasts with earlier societies, such as the agricultural
society (when agriculture was the key to survival) and the industrial
society (when mass production of goods generated most of the wealth).
In the emerging knowledge society, as much as land, labour and capital,
knowledge is the key to creating wealth and improving the quality of life.
As per the Dr Abdul Kalam’s “Vision-2020: A developed India by
2020” Document, the long-term economic and security objectives,
evolved through a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat)
analysis, provide the basis for this framework and help identify different
knowledge areas and priorities for knowledge creation and exploitation.
Though India is recognized as a fast developing nation with a burgeoning
economy, it is yet to create an ecosystem to take the benefits of
innovations in science and technology to the Rural India (i.e. Bharat).
The 95th Indian Science Congress (ISC) 2008 stressed the need for
creating a knowledge-based society to transform India into a developed
country in the coming decades. To undertake the SWOT Analysis, two
important ICT projects: DISNIC (ICT for Micro Level Planning at Grassroots
– and AgRIS (Agricultural Resources Information
6 Venkatasubramanian, K (2003): “Panel to give shape to 'knowledge society' concept”, as published in THE Hindu, dated
18th January 2003. He was the Member, Planning Commission during the period 1999-2004.
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System - are required to be implemented on mission
mode in India.
Public Libraries: The Local gateway to Knowledge
With the advent of satellites, televisions and computers and
advancement in telecommunication technology, there is a great flow of
information and knowledge. The term ‘Knowledge society’, ‘Information
Society’ and ‘Learning Society’ have now become familiar expressions in
the educational parlance, communicating emerging global trends with
far-reaching implications, for growth and development of any society.
These are not to be seen as mere cliché or fads but words that are
pregnant with unimaginable potentialities. Information revolution,
information technologies and knowledge industries, constitute important
dimensions of an information society and contribute effectively to the
growth of a knowledge society (Source: NCERT’s “Vision 2020 –
Education” Document)7.
The UNESCO Library Manifesto (1994) states that “the public library,
the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong
learning, independent decision-making, and cultural development of the
individual and social groups”. Empowering the community to support
library services is worth considering (Harkrisyati Kamil, 2003)8.
8 Harkrisyati Kamil (2003) : “The Growth of Community-based Library Services in Indonesia to Support Education”, in the
World Library and Information Congress & 69th IFLA General Conference and Council, 1-9 August 2003, Berlin.
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In a knowledge society, the levers of development is the creation,
circulation and appropriation of knowledge, i.e. non-material processes
that, in principle, may take place “anywhere” and at “any-time”. The
creation of knowledge is no longer the prerogative of formal settings such
as schools and work places; and hence the introduction of the term
knowledge society is paralleled by a shifting emphasis from education
(whose entry point is a teacher in an institutional setting) to learning
(whose entry point is the learner in any given spatio-temporal context).
The definitions of libraries and of librarians change accordingly. The
enormous increase in Internet-based communication serves to shift
attention to the virtual, rather than the physical, library. Digital
reference services, free access to large-scale data banks and secure
retrieval become vital areas of professional development, and there is
certainly more to come in this decisive domain of innovation.
Public libraries, in their physical as well as their virtual versions,
are spaces that people enter at liberty and often in their spare time. In
shaping new visions for public libraries in the knowledge society, perhaps
this image is their most fundamental value. For, it offers public libraries
a unique chance of catching on to the multi-sited nature of learning in
a knowledge society.
Public libraries can build on those trends by redefining the physical
libraries as informal knowledge centres and by developing their
professional competences in close collaboration with other knowledge
partners, both in the private and public sectors (Table-1). Such a
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development must respect the democratic principles of free access for
all, principles to which public libraries are committed as cornerstones of
Table 1: Library innovation and socio-cultural conditions
(Kirsten Drotner, 2005)9
Knowledge society
Aim of library use Cultural
Personal relevance
of cultural choice
Universal and free
access to
Information literacy
Universal and free use of
information and
Multimodal literacy
Definition of
Cultural custodian
Cultural guide
Knowledge facilitator
Definition of
Material entity,
physical artefact
Effective, reliable
information processing
Material artefacts and
Information and fiction
Definition of user Receiver of choice
Information producer
and evaluator
Knowledge producer,
cooperator and cultural
Library is an effective source of information to be shared by people
of all kinds. Complete computerization of all the libraries and a
dedicated, centralized server to host information available at different
libraries will help in effective sharing of information. A library is
completely computerized only if the user irrespective of background or
9 Kirsten Drotner (2005): “Library innovation for the knowledge society”, in
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knowledge, is able to access information available in the library from
anywhere just by typing few letters/words (Perera Kamani, 2007)10.
Automation and Networking of Libraries and Integration
Knowledge Resources
Rural Connectivity is the lifeline of Indian economy. India is a land
of diversity with different types of terrain, various agro-climatic
conditions, different levels of socio-economic conditions, and varied
levels of regional development. At the beginning of the new millennium,
260 million people in the country did not have incomes to access a
consumption basket, which defines the poverty line. Sustainable
livelihood is a multi-faceted concept. Rural India thus desires to take
advantage of “knowledge-intensive” techniques for its sustainable
development and sustainable consumption. Grassroots level Information
access (Contents) and Grassroots level access to Information (Networking)
are the two essential components for grassroots level development
strategies through ICT. Community Information and Communication
Centres (CICC), as a concept and model, aim to “boost efficiency and
enhance market” integration through Internet/ Intranet technologies for
sustainable remote/regional development at grassroots level.
Community Information & Communication Networks in India
empower disadvantaged community for effective information &
communication, in view of the stated pronouncement of “India to
10 Perera, Kamani (2007): Changing roles of library professionals in the knowledge society”, in, 2007.
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become Knowledge Society by 2008”, and also facilitate “social inclusion”
of marginalised rural poor to access knowledge and information. There
are about 56000 Public Libraries (which include 51000 at village level),
400000 School Libraries, 11000 University/College Libraries, 13000 R&D
Libraries, 28 State Libraries, and 526 District Libraries in India. Only 8.4
% of the Villages have access to Public Libraries in India.
Rural Public Libraries are a part of this revolution and will serve as
the backbone for “literacy mission and poverty alleviation”. There are
empirical evidences to support that rural digital libraries will sustain
Community Information & Communication Centres (e-Community
Centres). Networked Library environment play an important role in
rural revitalization, as libraries have emerged as a sunrise industry
due to globalization and liberalization at regional level, and
decentralization trends at grassroots level.
In March 2005, I was invited to present a Paper at the ADB Institute
Regional Workshop at Agra (India) and the Workshop deliberated ADBI
Regional Workshop on "Managing sustainable e-
Community Centres". I presented the Paper titled
“eGranthalaya: Moving towards Rural Digital
Library for Sustainable Livelihoods” and how
“Rural Libraries” should facilitate:
• Reaching the Unreached : Public
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• From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities for
sustainable development and economic growth.
• Fostering agricultural growth, poverty reduction and
sustainable resources use.
• Water, Energy, Education, Health, Agriculture & Rural
Development, Biodiversity : Sustainable Development &
Earth Care Policies
• “Sustainable Societies in Viable Rural Space” : A Cluster
of Villages is a viable rural space
• Globalisation, Liberalisation and Privatisation
I emphasized during my lecture that :
• “The way forward -“Information Systems as an
Investment and not Expenditure”
• “Local Government is about meeting people's needs”
• “Sustainable Development and Sustainable Lifestyles”
• “Change social problems 􀃆 opportunities”
• “Libraries : the life-force for learning”
• “Convert people needs 􀃆 21st century services”
• “Bringing ICT closer to people needs. (i.e. the new wave
of ICT, the related infrastructures and applications and
services, will address today's key societal challenges.)”
• “ICT Diffusion and Fusion of Technologies for economic
growth and sustainable development”
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This Lecture has attracted the Chairman of National Knowledge
Commission of India, who asked me to make a presentation to the
Commission. During October 2005, I made the presentation to the
Commission and some Members of the Commission expressed their
opinions stating that “when Internet search engines were available and
there were a lot of Internet Resources available, what would be the
usefulness of automation and networking of Libraries in India”. However,
Dr. Sam Pitroda, Chairman suggested NIC to showcase such models.
This led to me to include the Schemes, as mentioned above for the XI
Plan of NIC. However, I was very happy to learn that the NKC had set up
“National Task Force on Library” and included recommendations related
to “Automation and Networking of Libraries” in their Report to the Prime
Minister of India, submitted in December 2006. However, I was not
found in the National Task Force.
I strongly recommend that “Libraries across the country should
be developed as Knowledge Kendras / Centres and all Library
Resources should be digitized and shared across the country”.
Transitioning from e-Government to e-Governance in the
knowledge society
In e-Governance/e-Government, “electronic” means support and
stimulate good governance, which is expected to mature in four phases
(Gartner Report, 2000), as given below:
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• Information 􀃆 Presence : Web sites
• Interaction 􀃆 Intake processes : e-mail,
serach engines, download forms and documents
• Transaction 􀃆 Complete transactions :
Network and Information Security
• Transformation 􀃆 Integration and Change :
Virtual counter
The Gartner Model does not imply that all institutions have to go
through all the phases and all at the same time. Most of the governments
start by delivering on-line information, but public demand and internal
efficiency soon require more complex services. The five main target
groups that can be distinguished in e-governance/e-Government concepts
are Government (G), Citizens (C), Business (B), Employees (E) and
bilateral/multilateral Institutions (X). A good approach towards
implementation of e-governance is to combine short-term projects and
long-term goals. In this regard, I wish to quote the DISNIC Programme of
NIC envisaged development of information system in 28 sectors and
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initiated an “information system revolution” in districts during the later
part of 1980s with the establishment of NICNET node in every districts of
the country (Moni and Vijayaditya, 1990)11.
Each State Government has now its own model for implementing egovernance
initiatives / programmes, but the basket of services
(NEMMADI Kendras of Karnataka, e-SEVA of Andhra Pradesh, KAMADHENU
of Rajasthan, e-JAN SAMPARK of Chandigarh, SUVIDHA of
Punjab, RASI MAIYAMS of Tamilnadu, INFOGRAM of Goa,
FRIENDS of Kerala, GYAN DARSHAN of Gujarat, LOKVANI of
Uttar Pradesh, JAN MITRA of Himachal Pradesh, JAIKISAN of Uttrakhand,
e-Gram Suvidha of Madhya Pradesh, e-SUVIDHA of CICs in North Eastern
States, NAIDISHA of Haryana, SUCHNA MITRA Kendra of Chhattisgarh,
etc.) remains more or less identical across states. The GISTNIC
Programme of NIC initiated during 1980s was got drowned in this
process. According to Joya Chakraborty, when a centralized model is
developed, be it for Community Information Centres (CICs), Common
Services Centres (CSCs) or any other ICT4D initiative, the
regional/cultural aspects go missing (Source: solutionexchangeun.
Various Study Reports corroborate that the current state of various
government departments, in terms of usage of ICT, is not in a “holistic
manner” so as to achieve profound impact on ROI [in terms of people,
process and knowledge]. Government Departments both in States and
11 Moni,M & Vijayaditya,N (1990) : “DISNIC – A NICNET Based District Government Informatics Programme in India”,
Indian Computing Congress, Hyderabad (India), December 1990.
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Central Governments are yet to announce their “Informatics Policy” for
productivity increase in their subject domain. The subject domain is
classified as Central list, State list, Concurrent list and Local body list.
Their workflow process is being defined through the “business of
allocation”. ICT Policy of many governments is more or less related to
ICT industries.
e-Governance Roadmaps of many Government Departments, as of
now, do not reflect the “pyramid upside down”. G2G, G2B, G2C
components of e-Governance Framework require “institutional
approach”, i.e. training, extension, development, education and research
approach. It requires moving beyond “technology” component. Mainly
ICT Infrastructure is being used for email, word processing, and in some
cases process based applications (File tracking, scheme monitoring,
public grievances monitoring, etc). Content Generation, Workflow
applications, Decision Support Systems, Data Analysis, Framework
based Web Services etc., have taken a back seat. John Roberts (2001)12
estimated that only 10 per cent of government bodies around the world
would be able to move towards to e-governance by 2005 and India was
absent from the picture due its poor infrastructure, and its slow response
to the cyber culture. Now, we witness SWANs and State Data Centres
(SDCs) in every State, in addition to NICNET establishments. According to
the Bangalore based Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), the
Government websites are not accessible to Users with special needs
(i.e. disabled citizens) and do not even fulfill the basic access criteria
12 John P.Roberts, Vice –President and Director (Gartner Research) in Gartner Summit on Information Technology,
New Delhi, August 2001.
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set out in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Guidelines (Deccan
Herald, 8th December 2008).
Internet Data Centers – Mainframe Architecture of Yester
Data Centers are the key to application delivery. As desktop
virtualization takes root, Data Center will be the central hub containing
all the processing power, with very little or no processing at the user's
desk, leading to yester year’s Mainframe Architecture. System
Administrators (SAs) and Network Administrators (NAs) will have better
control over centralized resources and will be able to provision and deprovision
resources in a more organized fashion without disrupting
operations. Network availability, its security, and its scalability will be
the important factors for “business success”, in a world dominated by
Web 2.0 and SaaS. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) comes as a boon to many
businesses in India, especially from the medium-sized space, as they try
to deal with the prohibitive cost of owning and upgrading software
licenses on limited IT budgets. Thanks to SaaS, CIOs can move a
significant part of IT spend from capex to opex. India is a key market in
SaaS adoption, according to the Forrester Research Report 2008.
The Service, labeled as IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) and is similar to
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)13 model, enables cost-conscious users to
13 Software as a service (SaaS) is a software application delivery model where a software vendor develops a web-native
software application and hosts and operates (either independently or through a third-party) the application for use by its
customers over the Internet. Customers do not pay for owning the software itself but rather for using it. They use it through an
API accessible over the Web and often written using Web Services or REST. The term SaaS has become the industry preferred
term, generally replacing the earlier terms Application Service Provider (ASP) and On-Demand. (Soruce : WIKIPEDIA)
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adopt technology without paying large license fees, but by paying only
periodical installments. This model is gaining popularity and is expected
to be a key trend in the coming years (Economic Times, 6 March 2008).
While the impact of virtualization on the data center is expected to
be clear and profound, what dynamics SaaS would bring to the data
center is still a guess. Currently, data centers across industries such as
banking, financial services, e-Governance, and other service entities
remain huge server farms with loads of cooling requirements. Study
Reports on capacity utilization rates of Data Centres established under
the national / State e-Governance Programmes are not yet available.
Even it turns out to be “low”, large scale adoption of virtualization will
With all that riding on data centers as well as networks, one
important factor to consider for enterprises would be risk management.
Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Management (BCM) will
have to be taken into account in IT strategies by organizations. Indian
enterprises may not have the scale to provision for expensive DR and BCM
solutions, but these could be the key in threat situations where entire
networks or outsourced data centers are jeopardized. Virtualization
brings in huge cost-savings and some of these resources could be utilized
to plan and provision for DR and BCM situations.
While talking of Outsourced Data Centers, they may have many
benefits such as cost and space savings, but their future is uncertain, as
virtualization could provide these benefits without outsourcing. This
allows organisations to have better control over their resources than in
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the case of an outsourced data center (Tabrez Khan, 2008)14. The Power
team for Workhorse IT now consists of (a) SOA & Web Services, (b)
SaaS/PaaS, (c) ITaaS, (d) Enterprise Content Management, and (e)
Public Libraries: A Part of e-government/e-Governance (G2C)
in the knowledge society
Governments are investing heavily both politically and financially in
the knowledge society as a route to economic growth and international
competitiveness. Web technology provides an efficient, cost-effective
platform for national knowledge management, with e-government in
particular being welcomed as means of engaging citizens directly in
knowledge creation and dissemination. The discourse of the knowledge
society assumes a robust enabling role for government, downplaying its
declining role in national policymaking and possible divergence of 'public'
and 'national' interests. Additionally, in conceptualizing e-government as
a facilitator of the knowledge society, governments tend to underplay the
significance of entrenched cultural and operational barriers in public
sector bureaucracy and citizens' reluctance to engage. Ailsa Kolsaker
(2007)15 argues that it is only by factoring in such complexities that
governments can truly understand e-government in the knowledge society
and proposes the adoption of well-established marketing practices to
provide pragmatic, user-centric approaches to knowledge-driven citizen
14 Tabrez Khan (2008): “The Changing Face of Data Centers”, in, dated May 19,
15 Ailsa Kolaskar (2007): “Understanding e-government (G2C) in the knowledge society”, International Journal of Information
Technology and Management, Vol. 6, No.2/3/4 pp. 138 - 1472007
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engagement. In the context of emerging era of knowledge society, the
need of the hour is to make public libraries as vibrant centres of
learning and communication and as community hubs for people to
access networked information.
Access to information is prime component in the development of
society and in this context, Library and Information Centre are playing
dynamic role in provision of needed information. The information
society or the knowledge society does have the potential to transform
the Library as knowledge centres. Education and Knowledge Centre
have an integral relationship. According to Kothari Commission on
Education System (1964-65), the knowledge centre increases research
output by providing the following:-
• To provide resources necessary for research;
• To aid the faculty keeping abreast of new developments in the
new field;
• To provide facilities and services for success in all formal
programmes of instructions;
• To open the door to the wide field of resources;
• To bring resources, users and scholars together;
In a nutshell, I wish to convey that all the Stakeholders of the e-
Governance/ e-Government programmes are required to be exposed to
these areas, which will facilitate “design and development” of
“Knowledge Management” in the e-Governance/e-Government
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Let the 56000 Public Libraries become “Networked Knowledge
Centres” and be a part of “Emerging Knowledge Society” in India. Let
them be connected to various Internet data centres (NDCs, SDCs) and
State wide Area Network (SWAN) / NICNET under the National e-
Governance Programme (NeGP).
Madaswamy Moni
Deputy Director General, NIC
3rd April 2009
(Speech concluded)
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National Knowledge Network gets inaugurated..........

National Knowledge Network
(To share knowledge without constraints of distance, time and physical location -
Says Hon’ble President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil)
9th April 2009
Hon’ble President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil on 09.04.2009 inaugurated the initial
phase of National Knowledge Network from Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi through
Video-conferencing. On this occasion Hon’ble President lauded the role of Information
Technology in the country’s progress, and wished that the National Knowledge Network
(NKN) will provide a platform to bring together all stakeholders - scientists, researchers
and students from different backgrounds and diverse geographies - to work closely for
faster development in critical and emerging areas. Hon’ble President said that the NKN
will make it possible to share knowledge without constraints of distance, time and physical
At the inaugural function, Sri R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to GOI,
appreciated the role of National Informatics Centre and DG, NIC for implementation
of NKN.
It was shared by Institutions that “The NKN is going to transform teaching and research …
especially considering the shortage of quality faculty”. And, “It is a great boon to the
remote areas of the northeast”. To make it happen, one student of IIT-Patna asked a
question on cloud networking. The answer was given by Dr. Gautam Barua, Director, IITGuwhati.
The inaugural function through Video-conferencing was well attended by Prof. S.
Dandapat , Dean IIT-Patna, Prof. Subhash Pandey, Registrar, Prof. Naveen Nichachal,
Faculties and students from IIT-Patna.
Mr. Santosh Kumar , State Informatics Officer and Mr. Ranjan Kumar Singh , Senior
System Analyst co-ordinated the function to make it successful at IIT Patna. The Director
and faculties of IIT Patna appreciated the role and contribution of NIC in general and Bihar
State Centre in particular.