Pune, Jul 2 (PTI) In an important futuristic project, aimed at preserving electronic public records generated through e-governance initiatives of the Central government, the city-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), has signed an MoU with the National Archives of India (NAI), New Delhi, for development of an applicable software for the purpose.
This MoU has been signed as part of the project of 'Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation' sanctioned by the Department of Information Technology, MCIT, Government of India. This project will be handled by Human-Centred Design and Computing (HCDC) Group of C-DAC, which specialises in digital preservation and archival, according to Dinesh Katre, Associate director, HCDC group here.
Elaborating on the project, he said, "Our endeavor would be to equip NAI for preserving the electronic records produced through various e-governance initiatives. Digital preservation is the need of the future but we have to start preparing from today itself as the enormous amount of digital information produced in every field is threatened due to rapidly changing technologies and obsolescence of storage devices, file formats, hardware and software. The implementation of the MoU will enable the NAI to develop the technical capabilities for digital preservation and acceptance of records."
As part of the ambitious project, funded by Department of Information Technology, C-DAC and NAI have jointly set up a Centre for excellence for digital presevation (CEDP) here to create a machinery to archive the electronic public records of the government.
"This project, after completion of its first three year phase, will benefit the common people with an enhanced accessibility and retrieval of public records, and also help those who seek information under the RTI act," Katre told PTI.
"Our collaboration with NAI, the nation's largest archival centre for government records represents a strategic shift in favour of the new methods required for the preservation of electronic records, e-documents and digital information being generated through various e-government initiatives across the country," Katre said. NAI currently has established methods for preserving the hardcopy or paper records but preservation of electronic records or digital data is still an unchartered territory.
Katre, who is the Chief Investigator of CEDP, said, "We will be finding solutions for long term preservation of short lived e-records which exist in non-tangible and bitstream form." "Under the terms of the MoU, we will develop Digital Archival & Preservation System and Repository Portal for providing access to designated users. We also propose to define the self audit procedures for NAI in compliance with the minimum requirements of Trustworthy Digital Repository, the upcoming international standard."
Under this Project, NAI will be able to develop its own digital preservation capabilities in fulfillment of the mandate of the Public Records Act of 1993 (which is being amended) to take care of the electronic Archives so far as Government electronic records are concerned, being generated electronically in various Ministries/Departments in a big way.
For this uphill task, NAI will also be sharing its metadata and images of archival data for development of the software and testing the tools at C-DAC, Pune. A curriculum on digital preservation will also be developed for training the archivists and record keepers who need to update their skills for managing the electronic records. PTI