ICDL 2013 takes off with style in a power-packed ceremony at India’s cultural hub


The fourth edition of the International Conference on Digital Libraries (ICDL) with a theme of ‘Vision 2020: Looking Back 10 Years and Forging New Frontiers’, was inaugurated by M Hamid Ansari, the hon’ble vice-president of India, in the presence of large library fraternity.

Dr MM Pallam Raju, the hon’ble minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, also graced the occasion.

Welcoming the dignitaries and delegates, Dr RK Pachauri, director-general, TERI, stated in his opening remarks that the 21st century is going to be a century of knowledge and there is a need for clearly setting out programmes and policies for digitization of massive resources.

While, Prabir Sengupta, chair, ICDL 2013, spoke in detail on the theme of the conference and its relevance for professionals in the field. Dr Pallam Raju stated that India has always been a hub of knowledge and is known as an institution of higher learning. Tracing back some of the digital techniques used presently to the great thinker Panini, the hon’ble minister emphasized that digital technologies provide competitive advantage to nations and therefore need to be effectively leveraged.

Delivering the inaugural address, Hamid Ansari dwelt upon the changes which are taking place in the world of knowledge and transition from print to an electronic medium. He also said that mass-scale digitization is leading to empowerment and more informed decision making.

While, Dr Shantanu Ganguly, the organizing secretary, ICDL quoted eloquently from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore to drive home the objectives of ICDL, that is, the spread of wisdom and knowledge.

The serene and stimulating environment fostered an unleashing of intellectual creativity, debate and discussion during three days. The well attended event sourced together nearly 600 delegates and experts and participants ranging from library professionals, educators, computer scientists, software engineers to technocrats, bureaucrats, both from academia and industry, representing nearly 40 countries of the world.

Besides, the exhibition at the ICDL was inaugurated by Dr Prabir Sengupta, Prof. Ian H Witten, Prof. Michael Seadle, and Prof. Paul Nieuwenhuysen. A total of 32 exhibitors displayed their products and resources, which attracted large crowds.

(Compiled by Dr Shantanu Ganguly, organising secretary, ICDL 2013 and Dr PK Bhattacharya, conference coordinator, ICDL 2013)

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