India’s digital library plans to collaborate with foreign peers

NEW DELHI: The National Digital Library of India (NDLI) is focusing on forging collaborations with digital libraries in the US and Australia, as part of its second phase of development. 
Through collaborations, NDLI is looking at strengthening its own content, technology and business model. The library does not have a business model in place and has been running on government funding since its inception in 2015. 
“We are yet to arrive at a sustainable business model for NLDI. We are taking help from developed nations that already have revenue models in place,” said Partha Pratim Das, joint principal investigator, National Digital Library of India Project. Das is also teaching at IIT Kharagpur. 
NDLI, which was recently sanctioned `50 crore by the ministry of human resource and development, is also looking at helping SAARC neighbours Nepal and Bangladesh build their own digital libraries. 
Copyright issues in digital libraries is another area which is being explored by NDLI. The sanctioned funding for second phase is for a 30-month period till March 2020. 
According to Das, India is way behind the West and other developed nations in copyright awareness. This is why NDLI is also creating a manual for librarians across India that would cover all issues related to copyrights to digital content. 
“A lot of content is misused and not many are aware of copyright rights related to digital library content, which include rights to reading, downloading, printing, sharing, etc.,” he said. “Most librarians do not have an understanding of copyrights in the country.” 
NDLI has content from 160 sources with interface in three languages— English, Hindi and Bengali. In the next phase, NDLI plans to have content with interface in 10 Indian languages. “In the next three months, in addition to earlier interface of English, Bengali and Hindi, users will be able to interface with NDLI in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi, Odiya and Assamese,” Das said. 
Through interface in more languages, NDLI hopes to cover about 85% of the population. 
Recently, IIT Kharagpur had conducted a two-day workshop to train about 100 librarians from institutions across the country. These institutions included Indian Institute of Science, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Guwahati, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, IIAS Shimla, NIT Jamshedpur, Central Scientific Instruments Organization Pondicherry University, etc. 
Another aspect of copyrights with regards to digital content is alignment with international copyright rules. Currently, NDLI has partnership with 132 national and international organisations, including Unesco, IFLIBNET, JNU, TERI, etc., as content contributors. 
“When we source content from these national and international digital archives and libraries, we need to ensure that our users are aware of their copyright rules and avoid any sort of infringement,” he said. 
“Copyright as a subject is not very well accepted in India, and librarians, who deal with a large amount of copyrightable material are not fully aware of its implications,” said Prabuddha Ganguli, CEO, Vision IPR and visiting faculty at IIT Kharagpur.