C-DAC E-records to have longer archival life

E-records to have longer archival life

The Times of India
January 10, 2014

Computerized records of birth and death certificates, land, passport, Aadhaar and ration cards among others should now have a longer archival life. The city-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has developed a national digital repository that will preserve all important government documents in the electronic format.

Termed the 'trusted digital repository', the system is capable of saving electronic data generated by all state governments for a longer period of time. The project has been commissioned to C-DAC by the National Digital Preservation Programme, sponsored by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY).

Dinesh Katre, chief investigator of the centre of excellence for digital preservation project, said, "At present, most of the data is electronically fed by respective states. However, the software, in which the data is fed, may become outdated after a period of time, resulting in loss of data. The repository will prevent any such loss as it will open files in the standard file formats including word, '.jpg' for images, maps, video or audio."

As per the current practice, every state ties up with a software development company to get the system for maintaining electronic records of citizens. "But if a company shuts down or is taken over by another company, there are chances of losing all the data. Moreover, there is a possibility that the systems may not function at all for want of frequent maintenance and update. And not all software companies follow data preservation practices. In such scenarios, the repository developed by us will help in maintaining archive of documents for a longer period of time," Katre said.

C-DAC has also issued some standards and guidelines for all state governments, which will have to forward them to the software companies they hire in future. The software company will have to follow these guidelines and standards so that the data is compatible with the repository created by the C-DAC.