With an aim to protect old and fragile documents, the Rajasthan government is digitising 10,000 pages daily to preserve administrative and historical records of Rajputana’s princely states. The move will further boost the state government’s effort to use technology to improve the lives of people. These initiatives include a dedicated startup policy and various e-governance measures. The online records will help research scholars, administrative departments of state government, judiciary and general public. Further, it will be helpful in a variety of research uses including teaching purpose, building plans, publications and legal proceedings. “Age-old records are prone to be brittle by regular human touch, to make them accessible for posterity and to ensure that the records of today are preserved for future generation.
“We felt the need for digitisation and microfilming of archival records as Administrative and historical records were not easily available and limited visit of scholars etc,” Rajasthan State Archives Bikaner Director Mahendra Khadgawat told PTI. Currently, Rajasthan State Archive has more than 30-40 crore administrative and historical records of 22 princely states. However, it selected 3-4 crore documents for digitisation, which are important for scholars, general public, government and judiciary. Out of this, more than one crore documents have already been digitised in last few years. “Digitisation work is still in progress, and we are digitising 10,000 pages daily,” Khadgawat said, while adding that work under this was first started in 2005-06 under a pilot project. He further said the work will start soon on digitisation and microfilming of two crore more historical documents.
Besides, a document museum will be set-up in the near future, wherein historical document will be displayed. The main attraction would be galleries like farmans, cartography, freedom fighter and copper plates, he added. The move has also helped in increasing the traffic at the website to 250-300 research scholars daily from the earlier 100-125 such people. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is at the forefront in pushing her government’s digital agenda and has been taking special interest by personally monitoring the archive digitisation work. Last month, her government hosted a ‘Digifest Udaipur’ event to provide a platform for digital entrepreneurs while giving a boost to direct and indirect job creation in Rajasthan in various sectors. To rid the state of the ‘BIMARU’ tag, Raje had said that one of the focus areas for her government was to leverage technology and include it in all reforms of the ecosystem. The Delhi government has also initiated digitisation and microfilming of the records of the historic city.