Gokhale Institute intends to digitise over 2.5 lakh books

Feb 28, 2013, 04:59 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Some of them even date back to 17th century; however, the premier institute is in dire need of funds to realise the project that it had announced in September 2009

Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) — popularly known as Gokhale Institute — is in dire need of funds to complete the project that it has announced in 2009.

The institute, which is one of the oldest research and training institutes in Economics in country, has announced digitisation of its library that has a collection of over 2.5 lakh books.

The treasure:  Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics in which (below) Dhananjayrao Gadgil library is located. The library has around 50,000 books and gazettes, which were published prior to 1940.

After consistent efforts, the institute managed to receive Rs 20 lakh from UGC last year. “With the funds that we got from UGC, we started out pilot project and digitised 9,000 books that are now available on our website,” informed Nanaji Shevale, the librarian.

“We have around 50,000 books and gazettes that were published prior to 1940. We were thinking of digitising them on a priority basis, but no one is coming forward to fund the project,” he added.

GIPE Director Dr Rajas Parchure said the institute requires Rs 2 crore to complete the entire project. “We have approached the National Archives of India (NAI) and even a private firm. However, we didn’t get any positive response from them. The NAI had agreed to give us Rs 2 lakh, which is almost nothing considering the magnitude of the work,” Parchure said.  He added that the institute is now planning to approach UGC again and will seek funds through the commission’s 12th five-year plan.

When MiD DAY contacted Dr Narendra Jadhav, member of the Planning Commission, he assured that he will look into the matter. “I am not aware the Gokhale Institue’s project. If the director of the institute approaches me, I’ll definitely see what I can do,” he said.

When asked if the institute can get funds through the 12th five year plan, Jadhav said it will be difficult because the financial provision have already been finalised. 

The history
The institute was founded on June 6, 1930 by RR Kale as a centre for research and higher learning in economics, and has a four-storied dedicated library, which has been named after eminent economist Dhananjayrao Gadgil. It has a collection of several antique books; some of them even date back to the 17th century. The works of the famous Nicholas Machiavel ‘Citizen and Secretary of Florence’ is the oldest book in the library. It was had published in London in 1680.

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