Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Digital Preservation In India Is Needed

Digital preservation is an important issue when it comes to preserving national heritage and other historic and current documents, manuscripts, heritage, etc. This is the reason why developed countries have a well established framework for digital preservation.

Digital preservation in India has yet to take a start. Although some discussions in this regard have been undertaken by some department of India government yet they are far from satisfactory.

Even a national digital preservation programme (NDPP) of India has been launched but it has been lying dormant for many years. Presently, India has no well defined legal framework for digital preservation in India. Neither the technical nor the legal issues have been resolved by India in this regard so far.

According to Praveen Dalal, a Supreme Court lawyer and leading techno legal expert of India, Digital Preservation Framework in India is missing as we do not have a “dedicated” techno legal Digital Preservation Law in India.

Further, laws like Public Records Act, 1993, Right to Information Act, 2005, proposed Electronic Delivery of Services Bill 2011 (Bill), etc also mandates Digital Preservation and Digitilisation of records in “Electronic Form”, informs Praveen Dalal.

Digital preservation issues in India are going to be more complicated with the enactment of laws like digital millennium copyright act (DMCA). Efforts are in the pipeline for adoption of an efficient digital rights management (DRM) system in India.

It would be a better strategy if the Indian government starts working in the direction of enacting a suitable techno legal framework for digital preservation in Indian as soon as possible.