TEZPUR, Oct 26 - Urging the library professionals to get involved with the library field smartly to narrow the gap between the poor and rich, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari said here today that the explosion of information now being produced in the digital form has dramatically changed expectations about the production as well as the use of knowledge.
The Vice-President was addressing a mammoth gathering on the occasion of inaugural session of the three-day 19th National Convention on Knowledge, Library and Information Networking (NACLIN), 2016, which began from today at Tezpur University.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that the internet not only accelerates the pace knowledge dissemination, but also gives rise to changing conception of knowledge, production and use.
�We are living in the information age. This implies that the main sector of economic productivity is changing from agriculture and manufacturing to creation and processing of information and knowledge. New business, infrastructure, healthcare, academic research, economic development and social interaction have sprung from the arrival of networking, data storage, new innovation, software and microprocessors, providing the direct access to information, eliminating the intermediaries and gaining on the space and time. In this context, the libraries have the obligation to act as equaliser,� he said.
Ansari added that libraries of the 21st century can help fight poverty and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.
For the first time in history perhaps, the poor have an opportunity to enhance their wealth through the creation and use of knowledge and libraries can play a central role in this notable movement, he claimed.
Referring to Stephen Hawking, he also said that our digital future might be dystopian with the growth of artificial intelligence threatening the very human existence. Similarly, technologist Elon Musk, even as he advocates a human colony on Mars, said that the advancement of artificial intelligence can create a situation where humans become �house-pets� of the machines and warned that such power should be �broadly distributed� and not be �concentrated in the hands of a few.
He also highlighted the role of DELNET in promoting information technology in library sector across the nation and the concept of smart library.
Earlier, the Chancellor of the university-cum-Governor of Assam, Banwarilal Purohit, spoke on �the drastic change in technology of sixties to the present stage�. Terming former President APJ Abdul Kalam as a role model of the nation, he appealed to the student community to follow the ideology of those role models for whom India has become a stronger nation in every sphere. He advised the students to build their character besides gathering knowledge to make India a strong nation.
Referring to the smart library, he said that this movement would be a tremendous help to the research scholars.
Director of DELNET, HK Kaul, in his keynote address, mentioning the objectives and the activities of DELNET, said that a library should play a role similar to the service provided to the patients by a doctor.
The inaugural ceremony of the three-day programme was organised by DELNET in association with Tezpur University. Tezpur University V-C Professor Mihir Kanti Chowdhury, MP of Tezpur RP Sharma and State Irrigation Minister Ranjit Dutta also graced the occasion.