Digital library to store data collected from ancient texts on medicinal properties of plants
to protect traditional knowledge from getting stolen by bioprospectors, the department of Indian systems of medicine and homoeopathy (ism&h), Union ministry of health and family welfare and National Institute of Science Communication (a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research organisation), have launched a traditional knowledge digital library (tkdl). It contains information on the medicinal uses of different plants gleaned from ancient Ayurvedic texts.
The library, which was inaugurated by Union health minister C P Thakur, would ensure that unnecessary litigation on patents is avoided. Conceived after the World Intellectual Property Forum held in New Delhi in July 2000, tkdl would help officials across the globe determine whether the filed patents are actually novel. The details would be posted on the Internet and made available on cds as well.
In the first phase of development, tkdl will document 35,000 verses from 14 ancient texts. The database is likely to be put online in September 2002. Experts from diverse fields such as Ayurveda and information technology have joined hands with patent officers to develop this library.
The information will be provided in various languages such as English, French, German and Japanese. Malti S Sinha, secretary, ism & h department , says: "The more the people benefit from this ancient science, the better."
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