The International Workshop jointly organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India (MHRD) asserts the need and urgency of creating an inclusive and open global platform for knowledge sharing among the National Digital Libraries.
An International Workshop on Knowledge Engineering for Digital Library Design was held at UNESCO office at New Delhi from 25 to 27 October 2017. The objective of the workshop was to bring together professionals and experts from the field of Digital Libraries to deliberate on the state-of- the-art technology, internationally accepted practices and policies available in the domain of digital libraries. The workshop also aimed at creating a forum for regular and sustained interactions amongst professionals of the international digital library community.
The workshop was attended by more than 200 participants from sixteen countries, who enriched the conclusions of the workshop by sharing their experience and commitments to the National Digital Library of India. The workshop also benefitted from expert deliberations of dignitaries such as Mr. Kewal Kumar Sharma, Secretary, MHRD, Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, the Director or UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office and UNESCO Representative for Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka and Dr. Indrajit Banerjee, the Director of Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO Paris.
Participants of the workshop also took the opportunity to commemorate the International Open Access Week for 2017 (23-29 October 2017) and World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, which is celebrated every year on 27th of October. For the former, a dedicated session was organized with a panel sourced from South Asia, which tabled a draft sub-regional policy on Open Access of scholarly contents.
Dr. Partha Pratim Das, Professor-in-Charge at IIT-KGP observed that the objectives of the International workshop were fully met. “On behalf of IIT Kharagpur, we convey our sincere thanks and gratitude to UNESCO for the successful conclusion of this workshop and support to the National Digital Library of India. We look forward to a sustained collaboration as we enter the second phase of the project”, he noted.
The National Digital Library of India is virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. Its feature includes filtered and federated search facility. NDL India is designed to hold content of any language and provides interface support for leading Indian languages (currently Hindi and Bengali). It is being arranged to provide support for all academic levels including researchers and life-long learners, all disciplines, all popular form of access devices and differently-abled learners. The National Digital Library also has a mission to collaborate and support South Africa, and South Asian countries in strengthening their digital libraries.
UNESCO, through its Knowledge Societies Division (KSD), promotes the application of ICTs to enhance the quality of and access to education, build scientific knowledge, promote open access to scientific research results, and empower local communities. UNESCO also promotes free and open source software, Open Access, open web and open standards, as well as protects and digitizes documentary heritage through the Memory of the World Programme. The organization also works to foster the role of libraries and archives and is responsible for further strengthening of the World Digital Library, among others.
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