IIIT-A to help HC digitise records

In a major exercise, the voluminous records of the Allahabad High Court dating back to its inception will now get digitised. The Indian Institute of Information Technology - Allahabad (IIIT-A) will be helping out the high court in the project for two years. The entire project cost is estimated to be around Rs 5 crore.

Director (IIIT-A) Dr M D Tiwari said: "Our institute has been entrusted with the task of providing technical help to the high court in digitising the records. Setting up of infrastructure is in process. It would also entail training of personnel from the high court. We are hoping that it should get underway soon."

The training and consultancy will be a two-way process. A high court official said: "As per rules, the high court is a court of records. Therefore, the records have to be preserved virtually for all times to come. Still, there are a few documents which can be 'weeded' out. But this has to be done within set rules and regulations. We will have to guide the experts from the IIIT-A on this, because their expertise is in digitising academic and documents, but not legal."

The committee of judges looking after the computerisation decided to zero-in on IIIT-A because of their ongoing work of creating the universal digital library (UDL), sources said. They added that around 15 scanners have been procured for the project.

Giving a sense of the complexity of the task, high court officials said that there were several sections in the record rooms which have not been opened for decades.

"The rooms are opened only for sprinkling of chemicals for preserving the records. A comprehensive survey will be required before we can estimate the total number of files. Moreover, apart from digitising, the complex part of the project would be providing mechanisms for retrieving them as and when needed," a source said.

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