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Jagdish Arora and Manoj Kumar win ETD Leadership Award

posted Aug 7, 2017, 2:17 PM by NDLTD Admin   [ updated Aug 7, 2017, 2:32 PM ]
NDLTD is pleased to announce that Dr. jagdish Arora and Mr. Manoj Kumar won the ETD Leadership Award for their dedicated work on the Shodhganga thesis repository in India. Their joint analysis, planning, design and implementation of the repository began when there was hardly a digital or digitized thesis available in the area. The repository has since grown to immense proportions and is likely the largest such project in India, if not Asia.

As the director of the Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET - in India Dr. Arora has contributed immensely to the promotion of open access and graduate scholarship there. Mr. Kumar as the director of the Shodhganga ( repository has worked to promote the digital genre throughout the region.

Dr. Jagdish Arora

Award Acceptance by Dr. Jagdish Arora:

The genesis of ETDs in India, as it has evolved now, can be traced back to 2005 when Prof. Arun Nigavekar, the then Chairman of the UGC constituted a Committee to evolve a broad regulatory framework and guidelines for submission of electronic theses and dissertations into a central repository. As one of the active members of the Committee, I was given the responsibility for drafting the broader framework and guidelines. These guidelines could not be implemented at that time, however, these guidelines were published and circulated widely in print as well as through electronic media with a hope that it will catch attention of academic community and academic administrators in time to come and would see the day of light.

Towing the line of action proposed in the framework that was developed in 2005, the INFLIBNET Centre, an Inter-university Centre of the UGC, proposed implementation of “Indian ETD” in its XI Plan Period Proposal submitted to the UGC in 2008. The proposal was repeatedly brought to the attention of Chairman, UGC and other functionaries of the UGC in the meetings of the Governing Body and Governing Council of the INFLIBNET Centre. Finally, the UGC Notification, 2009 that was published as a gazette notification provided for submission of electronic version of theses into the repository set-up by the INFLIBNET Centre within 30 days of their submission in physical format.

It was decided to coin a unique and generic name to Indian ETD (iETD) which should be easy to pronounce and have greater pneumonic value. As such, “Shodhganga: A reservoir of Indian Theses” was chosen to replace Indian ETD (iETD). The word "Shodh" originates from Sanskrit and stands for research and discovery. The "Ganga" is the holiest, longest and largest of all rivers in India, named after the goddess Ganga, the daughter of the mountain god Himalaya. The Ganga is the symbol of India's age-long culture and civilization, ever changing, ever flowing, ever loved and revered by its people. "Shodhganga", a repository of theses and dissertations submitted to Indian universities, is expected to keep growing to a formidable size as more and more researchers submit their theses to this ever growing reservoir.

Shodhganga Repository was set-up and launched in January 2010 by Prof. S K Thorat, the then Chairman, UGC, on 4 th December, 2010, within a period of 12 months, number of theses in the repository grew to more than 1,000. As on today, the repository has more than 1,55,000 theses from 283 universities and 309 universities have signed the MoU on Shodhganga with the INFLIBNET Centre. The phenomenal growth of Shodhganga Repository can largely be attributed to incentives that the UGC provides for signing MoU with INFLIBNET Centre on Shodhganga. These incentives are:
  1. Access to anti-plagiarism software package to universities. More than 160 universities are getting access to anti-plagiarism package called Urkund;
  2. Funds for digitization of theses based on number of back volumes of theses available in a university; and
  3. Setting-up of ETD Laboratory in eligible universities (that have more than 10 theses submitted in a year);
It is a pleasure and privilege for me to participate in ETD 2017 and address an august gathering consisting of stalwarts in ETDs from all over the world. NDLTD Leadership Award for the year 2017 being given to me and my colleague Mr. Manoj Kumar, is moral boaster for both of us as individuals as well as to the INFLIBNET Centre as an institution. We are indeed thankful to the NDLTD Award Committee for bestowing this prestigious award to both of us.

Manoj Kumar K
Award Acceptance by Mr. 
Manoj Kumar K:

With great honour and privilege, I, Manoj Kumar K, Scientist-D(CS), INFLIBNET Centre, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, an IUC of University Grants Commission, Ministry of HRD, Govt of India, am pleased to accept the coveted NDLTD Leadership Award for the year 2017 along with Director, INFLIBNET Centre, Dr. Jagdish Arora.

We would like to dedicate this award to the Indian research community and 300+ Indian Universities who have come forward to immensely contribute to Shodhganga which is a national repository of digital copies of Indian Theses (ETD). Shodhganga is a repository of Indian theses and dissertations set-up by the INFLIBNET Centre based on the UGC notification (Minimum Standards & Procedure for Award of M.Phil. / Ph.D Degree, Regulation, 2009). The repository provides a platform for research scholars to deposit their Ph.D. theses through online mode and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. Shodhganga has grown up as an important one stop repository for Indian researchers with open access to about 1,55,555 theses as on date. The theses can be browsed, viewed, searched, shared and downloaded free of cost without any registration. Under the project, 160 universities were getting access to an online plagiarism detection software Universities are provided access to plagiarism detection software as and when they sign MoU with INLFIBNET Centre. About 1,71,813 documents are submitted by these universities till 27.02.2017 and about 11778 research supervisors and Shodhganga Coordinators are using the URKUND ID for checking plagiarism. These IDs are created on the recommendation of the universities. The Centre also maintains a repository of research in progress called Shodhgangotri that hosts 3900+ synopses / approved research proposals submitted by 44 universities.

While receiving the award, I am also getting an opportunity to present a paper on Shodhganga titled "Creation of Dynamic Ontologies for Graphical Representation in User Interface using NeOn in Shodhganga" and also a poster on analysis of Science and Technology theses in Shodhganga in the 20 th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations during August 7–9, 2017 in Washington, D.C which is hosted by George Mason University with additional support from the Washington Research Library Consortium and co-organized by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) and the United States Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA).

The Award will help us in promoting the ETD repository to international level for sharing of Indian Research which will create more opportunities to researcher for effective collaboration with International experts. The excellent work done by NDLTD for promoting ETDs in the world is highly appreciated and expecting Shodhganga will be part of NDLTD repository soon. I personally thank NDLTD for providing travel grant to attend the Symposiums in
University of Lille, France and Washington DC. I wish all the best for the 20th International Symposium on ETDs and place on record the appreciation for all the orgainsers NDLTD, USETDA, WRLC and George Mason University.

Thank you very much on behalf Indian ETD repository.