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As citizen services in most urban centers have gone digital, the local Municipality office in your area by all probability now gives you a computerized version of birth, death or other certificates within a fraction of a second. What if after 50 or 75 years you need an authenticated certificate? Is there a way you will get such? How to preserve huge data of citizens? Consider another example you want a classic Bollywood film like Guru Dutt’s Pyasa to be enjoyed by your children’s children. How to preserve the masterpiece?
The digital preservation technology is specifically tailored to take care of these challenges. To put it very simply, Digital preservation means transforming, storing, archiving various forms of media that has been transferred to a digital format and getting a long term access to it. In this era of globalization and explosive growth there is a heavy capital inflow to digital resources because of the immense opportunities they bring out. But mere preserving is not enough. How to ensure all the archives are technology proof and future proof in the fast paced digital world?
These are the few posers in the endeavour to ensure long term sustainable preservation of society’s knowledge assets and culture heritage, digital or otherwise. Some of the spheres where there is a need for long –life data are the following: Healthcare industry where medical records should be preserved for the life of the individual and beyond, Pharmaceutical companies needing off-line electronic data storage for 50 to 100 years, or Satellite and earth service data which needs to be kept intact forever for research and to track changes.
To address these pressing issues DIT has embarked on the ambitious National Digital Preservation Programme (NDPP)(External website that opens in a new window) with participation of whole lot of stakeholders and researchers. A project "Tools for digital preservation management of Heritage Archives" executed by C-DAC, Pune is focused on development of software tools to address the long-term digital preservation issues related to Heritage Archives lie management of digital content, management of preservation metadata, resource management, auto extraction of technical metadata, interface design for curators of heritage archives et al. The program was initiated in May 2009 and is expected to be completed by May 2011.