Marathi encyclopaedia goes online

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Marathi encyclopaedia goes online

The Times of India
December 02, 2011

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing has developed an online encyclopaedia of Marathi words. The first volume of the digitised version is available on a portal dedicated for the encyclopedia and users can just click on the word and get its history and meaning. A set of 18 volumes will be released in the coming months and each volume will contain over 1,000 pages.

The printed version of the encyclopedia has hardly reached common man and was gathering dust at the Marathi Vishwakosh Mahamandal in Mumbai.

Vijaya Wad, chairperson of the Marathi Vishwakosh Mahamandal, said: "The encyclopedia could be of tremendous use for people studying Marathi literature. But it was not quite being used by common man since it was in print format. Hence, we put up a proposal before the state government to digitise the encyclopedia in unicode and the chief minister agreed to it."

The Mahamandal commissioned the job to the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and, within eight months, the first volume was released by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai on October 25. The C-DAC will be releasing one volume every month. The next volume will be released by scientist Vijay Bhatkar in Pune on December 1. The project is funded by state government and Rs 65,000 will be granted for every volume released.

Mahesh Kulkarni, programme co-ordinator, multilingual computing, C-DAC, said: "We started with the word 'ank' (number). Once the user clicks on the word, its history and a short description of how the word is being used over a period of time is explained. Besides, its usage in other countries has also been given on the website. Some words are even supported with pictures and illustrations."

"Since the digitisation of the encyclopedia is done in unicode format, there is no issue with its display or font. Anybody can open it on any machine. Users have also been given the search option for any particular word," Kulkarni added.

The first volume of the encyclopedia is available on the portal