Thick heaps of the four volumes of Konkani language ‘vishwakosh’ or encyclopedia , till now available only in hard copy, will now attain a modern access. The four volumes of encyclopaedia work, initially started by prominent Goan writer and academician late Manoharrai Sardessaiat of Goa University, will now be accessed in digitized format, alongside forming a base for a Konkani Wikipedia.
As mentioned by officials, the Konkani Wikipedia is to be ready to access within upcoming six months. With this, Goa University has turned out to be the first varsity in the nation to enter into a creative commons licence that will permit copyrighted produced data by an Indian university accessible to internet users and open to modification (wiki), making Goa University a victory of sorts of free information.
The university has signed a three-year MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge Programme. This centre represents Wikipedia in India, and now also the Konkani Wikipedia project.
After Google, Facebook and Yahoo, Wikipedia is the fourth most used asset on the internet which operates as an internet based encyclopaedia. Over Wikipedia, any of the users can upload new information and can also update or amend an existing topic. The Konkani Wikipedia is also planned to offer similar privileges to its users. GU's Konkani department and the centre will manage the development from the university campus.
"The Konkani vishwakosh covers all realms of knowledge like any other encyclopedia. The Konkani Wikipedia will act as a digitized repository of knowledge for future generations and Konkani speakers across the world. I look forward to the pleasure of going to the internet and clicking away to access a Konkani Wikipedia," GU vice-chancellor Satish Shetye said.
Shetye told, GU is delighted to relate with Wikipedia, which has become a global trend breaking the monopoly of publishers and transforming the way of sharing of knowledge into a democratic process.
GU registrar Vijayendra Kamat mentions, "At present, it takes time for a page with information in a regional language to download because they are usually found in the form of scanned pages, which are accessible as images and not text. The Konkani Wikipedia will make the text accessible as is the case of any English text on the internet”,
The Konkani vishwakosh, containing four large volumes of total of 3,632 pages,
is a work of period of 14 years. It was edited by late Manoharrai Sardessai followed by the editor Tanaji Halarnkar. For the compilation process, GU Staff members, Ranjan Naik, Kalpana Naik, Kanchan Mordekar, Surekha Naik, Mukesh Thali and Shailendra Mehta contributed to it.
Konkani vishwakosh or encyclopedia covers, concisely presented world information with special weight given on information on Goa, Konkani, Goan culture, folklore, history, geography etc. The Wikipedia is offered in 20 Indian languages that includes Telugu, Assamese, Marathi, but not in language Konkani so far.
Interested Students, Professors or anyone else could contribute to this Konkani Encyclopaedia project by enrolling online at bit.ly/konkanivishwakosh, before 05 October 2013.