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News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 13, 2007

India launches OA knowledge portals on water and energy

The Indian government has launched OA "knowledge portals" on water and energy, the first two in a series.  From yesterday's press release:

A national drive to ensure access to knowledge and learning can transform Indiaís potential for development, lift young Indians to new levels of understanding and competence, and make India one of the leading knowledge societies in the world. This is the central affirmation of the National Knowledge Commission in its 2006 Report to the Nation, released here today. The Report was presented to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, by Commission Chairman Mr Sam Pitroda. The special function was also marked by the Prime Ministerís inauguration of two national knowledge portals, opening public access to knowledge and ideas on the issues of Water and Energy.

Appointed by the Prime Minister in October 2005 with a three-year mandate, the Commission is assigned to prepare a blueprint for radical improvement of knowledge access, knowledge creation and application, by and for the Indian people....The Commission has already submitted wide-ranging recommendations for action to the Prime Minister. The Report today made these recommendations public....

The inauguration of the two national web portals on Water and Energy marks the Commissionís bid to enhance public access to information and knowledge on these two critical development issues. To ensure that the recommended knowledge flow and outreach is available to everyone, similar access is envisaged through the media of print, audio-visual communication, library and information institutions and services, and live interaction processes, in all languages. The promotion of web portals on internet is just one of the Commissionís initiatives to open up knowledge sources and resources for public use. The portals are designed to be interactive, and will offer the user public web space to share information and ideas and to create knowledge resources. The Commission has sought the partnership of expert organisations to lead and Ďchampioní the development of the portals. The Water portal has been developed by the public charitable Arghyam Trust, and the Energy portal by TERI. Public use portals and other communication outreach are also likely on the issues of environment, health, citizenís rights and employment....