Articles from the Kannada Encyclopaedia (Kannada Vishwakosha) of the University of Mysore can now be accessed online under the Creative Commons License. The move to make content of the Kannada Vishwakosha accessible is part of the ongoing effort to enrich Kannada content on Internet.
The University of Mysore is working with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) to digitise encyclopaedic publications for which the copyrights are owned by the varsity, and to re-release them under the Creative Common License.
U.B. Pavanaja of the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, who is promoting Kannada content on the Internet, told The Hindu that of the 14 volumes, digitised content of the first four volumes has been uploaded.
And, the CIS is awaiting the release of the revised edition of the other two volumes. “Each volume has about 900 pages and hence over 3,600 pages of the Kannada Vishwakosha can now be accessed. What is significant is that people seeking quality information in Kannada can now access reliable content. It is also subject to editing in real time and hence will remain updated,” according to Mr. Pavanaja. The content was digitised and uploaded with the help of students who were interning with the CIS and included three boys and five girls, said Mr. Pavanaja.
The permission for digitising the content has been accorded for the first six volumes. However, the CIS has sought permission from the varsity for digitising the content of the other volumes, including Subject Encyclopaedia.
The Centre for Internet and Society signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Mysore in February. The varsity issued a certificate to publish the work under the Creative Common License in May.
As per the plan, the digitised content will be made available for everyone through free content distribution platforms like Wikipedia, Wikisource and this is expected to enhance digital literacy in Kannada language while helping in free dissemination of knowledge in Kannada to students, academics, researchers and the general public. As of now, the articles have been uploaded on Wikisource and will shortly be migrated to Wikipedia also.
Besides, the CIS is trying to hold talks with Kannada University, Hampi, on digitising the Janapada Vishwakosha and make it available under the Creative Common License, said Mr. Pavanaja.
Niranjan Vanalli, Director of EMMRC of the University of Mysore, said digitisation of Kannada Vishwakosha has given a new lease of life to publications. “The 14-volume Kannada Vishwakosha was not available to everyone earlier and was confined to research institutions or libraries. But now that the content is available online, it is accessible to all those who are interested. And, what it is more is that most articles, especially those pertaining to history, art and culture, will be of reference quality and that will act as a major boost to the cause of Kannada language,” he added.
Meanwhile, the University of Mysore and CIS will celebrate World Open Knowledge Festival on July 15 at the Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies from 11 a.m. to commemorate the event.