Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Tuesday unveiled a portal on Indian culture which, he said, brings together all the cultural resources of the country on one platform. Created by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, in collaboration with IGNOU, over a course of three years, http://www.indian culture.gov.in is a digital resource of documents, artefacts, paintings and other items available in the archive.
“We are not able to display even one-tenth of our cultural treasures to the public, owing to lack of space. Our history and culture should be out in the public domain so that more people in the country and abroad can see and experience it,” said Patel.
The portal currently has details on 90 lakh items, including manuscripts, archives, research papers, audio books and folk tales. It also has information on UNESCO sites, reports and proceedings of various events organised by the Ministry of Culture as well as details of museum collections. This pertains to all the organisations that come under the aegis of the Ministry, such as the National Archives of India, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smriti, Archaeological Survey of India and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
The timeline of the content dates back to 4,000 years, and includes sculptures and paintings from the repository of the National Museum and several rare manuscripts. Uttam Pacharne, Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi, said that the institution has contributed some portfolios to the collection and gradually, as many as 8,000 works from its repository will go live on the portal.
Till now, all the content on the portal pertains to the Ministry and its branches, and the state museums and archaeology departments haven’t been involved. However, Patel said this gap may gradually be filled. He admitted that some of the information on the portal may be incomplete or have discrepancies, but it’s a work-in-progress, and over the next year, the shortcomings will be rectified.