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C-DAC Signs MoU With National Archives of India

Electronics for You (EFY) Times
June 20, 2011

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, a national initiative of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Government of India signed an MoU with the National Archives of India (NAI), New Delhi which is an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture responsible for the preservation of all official records of the Government of India.

This MoU has been signed as part of the project of 'Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation' sanctioned by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, MCIT, Government of India. This project is awarded to Human-Centred Design and Computing (HCDC) Group of C-DAC, Pune which specializes in digital preservation and archival.

Addressing the media, Dr Hemant Darbari, Executive Director, C-DAC, Pune said, "We are indeed honored to work alongside NAI for the preservation of their digital records. 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 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 hitherto accept the digital records."

Speaking about the MoU, Dr Dinesh Katre, Associate Director & HoD, HCDC Group added, "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". NAI currently has established methods for preserving the hardcopy or paper records but preservation of electronic records or born digital data is an entirely new challenge. 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."

The NAI team for the project is led by Dr. Meena Gautam, Deputy Director and Mr.N.S.Mani, Microphotographist in association with their colleagues in the Department.

Talking about the collaboration, Dr Meena Gautam, Deputy Diretor, NAI said, "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 as well so far as Government electronic records are concerned, being generated in various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India electronically 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. Through this joint effort we will also be designing a curriculum on digital preservation for training the archivists and record keepers who need to update their skills for managing the electronic records."