Speaking on the occasion Dr. Singh said that the Gandhi Heritage Portal is a technology-driven initiative aimed at making Gandhiji accessible all over the world on an electronic platform.
He said it aspires to be one of the most authentic open source archives on the life and work and thought of Mahatma Gandhi and he expressed confidence that the portal will be an invaluable resource for generations to come, especially for the youth worldwide.
"I have been told that the Portal at present provides approximately half a million pages of material in electronic form and that it aspires eventually to place about one million pages of information in multiple languages," he said.
"This collection of documents provides great source material on Indian freedom struggle and captures the triumphs and tribulations, the thoughts and visions of an entire generation of freedom-fighters led by Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi," he added.
He also said it is a self-evident truth that knowledge has to be an inclusive process, where barriers to learning are systematically dismantled. Only a society that is committed to the free flow of ideas can hope to lead in an age of knowledge.
Dr. Singh added that the government has taken many significant steps in this direction. The National Manuscripts Mission, the Digital Library of India, the variorum on Tagore and the Gandhi Heritage Portal are all important milestones in this journey.
He further said that this Mission would go in for professional conservation and management of Buildings where Bapu stayed and bring together published and unpublished documents, photographs and audiovisuals, among others.
"Similarly, we are keen that a world-class National Memorial should soon come up at Dandi, which will inspire the younger generation and expose them to the trials the freedom fighters went through," he said.
Dr. Singh conveyed his good wishes to the trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram who have conceptualized and created this Portal.
"I am sure that Bapu's spirit of perseverance will show them the light and lead them on to many greater steps in their noble task," he said.
The portal, which will house the intellectual heritage of Gandhi, has been developed at the Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati in Gujarat, where its office is also located.
The culture ministry had sanctioned Rs.8 crore as a corpus fund to the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (SAPMT), Ahmedabad, to create the portal. The trust would earn about Rs.75 lakh as annual interest to run and maintain the portal.
Minister for Communication and IT Kapil Sibal, Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch, National Innovation Council Chairman Sam Pitroda and Noted Gandhian Narayan Desai were present at this occasion.
--ANI (Posted on 02-09-2013)