ETDs in India
India has one of the largest educational systems in the world. The number of Universities in India has increased 34 times from 20 in 1950 to 677 in 2014. The sector boasts of 45 Central Universities of which 40 are under the purview of Ministry of Human Resource Development, 318 State Universities, 185 State Private universities, 129 Deemed to be Universities, 51 Institutions of National Importance (established under Acts of Parliament) under MHRD (IITs - 16, NITs – 30 and IISERs – 5) and four Institutions (established under various State legislations). The number of colleges has also registered manifold increase of 74 times with just 500 in 1950 growing to 37,204, as on 31st March, 2013 (source: Department of Higher Education, MHRD, GoI).
Theses and dissertations contribute considerably to the scholarly knowledge bank and constitute a pivotal segment of research literature. ETDs ensure access to knowledge and learning and can transfer India’s potential for development, lift young Indians to new levels of understanding and competencies and make India one of the leading knowledge societies in the world. This is the key component of National Knowledge Report released in 2007. The report of the Working Group on Libraries has recommended that ETDs be set up across the country. Consequently concerted efforts are being made nationwide by the universities to set up and maintain ETDs.
University Grants Commission (UGC) Policy regarding ETDs
UGC, India has mandated electronic submission of PhD Theses vide UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for the award of M.Phil/Ph.D. degree) Regulation 2009. According to this regulation, all universities are required to submit a soft copy of MPhil/PhD Thesis to the UGC, within a period of 30 days from announcement of the award of degree, for hosting the same in Shodhganga.
"Shodhganga" is the name coined to denote digital repository of Indian Electronic Theses and Dissertations set-up by the INFLIBNET Centre. The word "Shodh" originates from Sanskrit and stands for research and discovery. The "Ganga" is the holiest, largest and longest of all rivers in Indian subcontinent. The Ganga is the symbol of India's age-long culture and civilisation, everchanging, ever-flowing, ever-loved and revered by its people, and has held India's heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history. Shodhganga stands for the reservoir of Indian intellectual output stored in a repository hosted and maintained by the INFLIBNET Centre.
The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET is set-up using an open source digital repository software called DSpace developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in partnership between Hewlett- Packard (HP). The DSpace uses internationally recognized protocols and interoperability standards. Shodhganga provides a platform for research scholars to deposit their Ph.D. theses and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. The repository has the ability to capture, index, store, disseminate and preserve ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) submitted by the researchers.
Till today 186 universities have signed MoU with INFLIBNET Centre for submitting ETDs and 28302 theses from various universities of India has been uploaded into Shodhganga .
ETD initiative by Universities/Institution in India
Many Universities and Institutions in India have taken taken individual initiatives towards setting up ETD Repositories like ETD@IISc, Vidyanidhi - University of Mysore, Eprint@IIT Delhi, etc. Besides, many collaborative initiatives have also been taken by many institutions like KrishiPrabha - Indian Agricultural Doctoral dissertation Repository, CSIR Explorations, etc.
ETD initiative at JNU central Library
Digitization of all the theses and dissertations housed in Central Library, JNU was started in July, 2012 and was completed in a time bound manner by December, 2012. All digitized theses and dissertations have been uploaded on local server; and have been catalogued in Integrated Library Management Software - Virtua. All borne digital theses and dissertations received have also uploaded uploaded on the local server and catalogued in Virtua. Thus, now entire collection of approximately 22000 theses and dissertations are accessible online on JNU intranet from any part of the JNU Campus. Besides, as per MoU signed with INFLIBNET Centre, open access to 5,150 Ph.D. theses have been made available through Shodhganga - Central Repository created by INFLIBNET Centre, Ahmadabad with 3 years embargo period.
Furthermore, the University envisioned and started developing its own online repository of Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs). Although, JNU’s PhD theses are available in Shodhganga, its ETD Repository envisages making MPhil Dissertations available in public domain along with PhD theses. The university has framed its policy for availability of ETDs under open access with an embargo period of three years. The requisite infrastructure for development of JNU’s ETD Repository is ready; work is progressing with a rapid pace and it is expected to make it available at http://etd.lib.jnu.ac.in very soon.
Under this initiative, research scholars are supposed to deposit electronic versions of approved synopsis which they have submitted to the universities for getting registered for doctoral programmes. The synopses are made available in open access and may be browsed globally. This repository aims at highlighting the research trends followed across Indian universities and thus prevents duplication of efforts in research. Once the full text of a particular thesis is submitted and uploaded, a link to the full text (in Shodhganga ) from synopsis in Shodhgangotri is provided . Till today, 376 synopses has been uploaded in the repository.