12 August 2006

India plans Agricultural knowledge portal

As part of a Framework for Technology Development and Delivery System in Agriculture (pdf format), the Indian government proposes to establish an electronic gateway to agricultural information.

According to the document, the "Portal is neither intended to replace any agency websites nor any other government portal. This Portal will, however, provide additional means by which those sites might be accessed by a possibly wider and more varied client base. The AIK Portal will open opportunities for multiple agencies to participate in web delivery and development opportunities. The Portal would be able to integrate diverse interaction channels at a central point, providing a comprehensive context and an aggregated views across all information related to agriculture including know-what or declarative knowledge, know-how or procedural knowledge, and know-why or usual knowledge and creation of new knowledge." The document includes a very interesting picture of the proposed portal and its elements.

More information on agricultural research information in India can be obtained from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Directorate of Information and Publications of Agriculture; its Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS) project, including the very useful ARIS News.

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Anonymous Subbiah Arunachalam said...

"As part of a Framework for Technology Development and Delivery System in Agriculture, the Indian government proposes to establish an electronic gateway to agricultural information," says a note dated 12 August 2006. While this may be a welcome initiative, what would be far more useful would be for ICAR to MANDATE open access to all research papers (those published in refereed research journals) of the faculty, students and other researchers. Open access - both OA journals and OA repositories or archives - are gaining acceptance all over the world. More than 2400 journals are open access according to the Directory of OA Journals, and there are over 725 institutional archives (of full text research papers) around the world. In India about 100 journals including all journals published by the Indian Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy are OA. Besides about 25 institutions have their own institutional interoperable OA archives. But so far not a single Indian agricultural journal has gone OA, nor a single agricultural university or research institution has set up an OA archive. This in spite of the fact that ten people sponsored by ICAR were trainrd for three days in setting up an OA archive at a workshop held in early 2004. Each one promised that he would set up his institution's archive within a few months!

Setting up OA archives is rather easy. The software is free and simple to install. Any one familiar with the use of computers can set up an archive if he/ she has a good server and a decent Internet connection. The most important thing, of course, is the desire to do!

Subbiah Arunachalam

August 15, 2006  

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