Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIIT-A) is going to facilitate another giant step towards making the proposed Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India Science and Technology (S&T) Digital Library a reality.
The Deemed University is going to organise an all important conference of all ASEAN countries at Bangkok in which experts would evolve work plan for the mega project.
Informing about the meet, IIIT-A Director Dr MD Tiwari said that the conference would help in exchange of views on various aspects of establishing the digital library, especially the technical, financial and management aspects. "During the conference, the experts will also finalise a project proposal on setting up of the ASEAN-India S&T Digital Library as a joint undertaking for presentation to the relevant bodies in ASEAN countries and India," he added.
"Around 20 experts, two from each ASEAN countries, would attend the conference.
From India, around 10 experts including five from IIIT-A would participate in the important event. The Indian delegation would include the national co-ordinator of INDEST-AICTE Consortium, IIT-Delhi Prof Jagdish Arora, Advisor and head of International S&T Collaboration, Department of Science and Technology (DST) Dr YP Kumar, Associate Director of IISc-Bangalore Prof N Balakrishnan, vice-chairman AICTE Prof RA Yadav and secretary UGC Dr TR Kem," he said.
Elaborating on the proposed ASEAN-India S&T Digital Library, Dr Tiwari said that the proposal was an outcome of the commitment made by the then Indian Prime Minister during the visit of Megawati Soekarnoputri, President of the Republic of Indonesia during April 1- 5, 2002.
"Actions were taken at appropriate levels and the first concept paper was submitted by our institute on July 19, 2003 to the DST and the Ministry of External Affairs for suitable consideration in response to a DST letter dated June 3, 2003," he added.
Dr Tiwari informed that as a follow-up action, an Indian delegation visited Jakarta on November 12-13, 2003.
"The draft report was prepared by ASEAN Secretariat and submitted to DST and to the Ministry of External Affairs on December 3, 2003. We also submitted our report of technical details to DST and Ministry of External Affairs afterwards," he said. Dr Tiwari said that at the moment the plan is to have the main server of the proposed ASEAN-India S&T Digital Library at the ASEAN Secretariat itself but have an image server at IIIT-A. "The image server, unlike others, would actually give us special rights to carry out upgradation as and when required so that necessary technical work can be done here itself without wasting time and money," he added.
Dr Tiwari said that the ASEAN-India S&T Digital Library could become a reality by spending around Rs 250-300 crore and which would serve as a revolutionary step towards providing students and experts access to numerous quality journals and books throughout the region in their own languages that would usher in a new era in the development of educational infrastructure.