The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel launched the Indian Culture web portal today in New Delhi. The Indian Culture portal was envisioned by the Ministry of Culture and was developed by a team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay while the curation of the data has been done by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Culture Secretary Shri Arun Goel, DG ASI Usha Sharma and other senior officials of the ministry were also present on this occasion. Indian culture portal is the first government authorized portal where knowledge and cultural resources of various organizations of Ministry of Culture are now available in public domain on a single platform.Speaking on the occasion Union Minister said that this project is a part of the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative to showcase information about the rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India both at home and abroad. He added that India is one of the most diverse countries in the word. We have a rich cultural heritage but unfortunately we are just able to showcase 10 percent of it to the word. This portal hosts documents, images, audio-video files and other data from archives, museums, academies and libraries across the nation. On this portal information about more than 90 lakhs items are currently available.Shri Patel said that from toy carts of the Indus Valley Civilisation to the charkha of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Culture encapsulates the words of the Shastras and the finesse of Deccan court painters, from the calm on the buddha’s cisage to the battle scars on armours, from rare images of monuments, to bite sized anecdotes and detailed accounts of Indian UNESCO World Heritage Site are available on the portal.
He further added that the process of collecting and showcasing content on the portal is ongoing and over time the information presented will be enhanced in quality and quantity. The portal is more than a repository, it is a proud culmination of the mélange of Indian cultures that has co-existed and thrived for more than five thousand years, he added.The content available on the portal comprises mainly of rare books, e-books, manuscripts, artefacts from museum, virtual galleries, archives, photo archives, gazetteers, Indian National Bibliography, videos, images, cuisine, UNESCO, Musical Instruments of India among others. The Ministry of Culture has been actively involved in facilitating data collection from various organizations. One of the unique features of the portal is the stories, based on original archival documents narrated in an interesting, easy to read and understand format. The portal also contains write-ups and beautiful pictures on cuisines, festivals, paintings, folk art and classical art from different states of India. Rich information about rare books, manuscripts and research papers on our cultural heritage is also available on this portal.The content on the portal is available in English and Hindi language in an interactive, user-friendly interface. As envisioned by the Ministry, the portal also will be available in other regional languages in future. The larger aim of the Indian Culture portal is to create awareness among the citizens about the diverse heritage of our country.