Kannada encyclopedia needs content, tech push

Kannada encyclopedia needs content, tech push

Several users complain the website crashes frequently, content is not updated and that the technology is outdated.

The state government’s flagship online Kannada encyclopedia, Kanaja, touted to be on the lines of Wikipedia, seems to be floundering 10 years after it was launched.

For, several users have complained that the website crashes frequently, content is not updated and that the technology is outdated.

The encyclopedia, which is meant to be a one-stop-shop for all things Kannada, hosts a digital library with more than 1,000 Kannada books covering a wide range of topics, an online dictionary and gazettes. Developed by the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, it was launched in 2009. It was subsequently handed over to the Kannada & Culture department.

However, for more than a year now, the encyclopedia’s content has not been updated. Sources in the department said they were aware of the problems pertaining to both content and technology. “There is staff crunch. There were also administrative issues which posed hurdles in taking the project forward. The last time the content was updated was in 2018,” a source in the department said.

At present, all content uploaded on the website is approved by a committee. Users are allowed to recommend information to be uploaded, but it will be done only after scrutiny by the committee, officials explained.

A few vexed users told DH that the most recent crash was the previous weekend. “I wanted to access the Halegannada texts. However, it showed that the page was offline,” said K Ganesh, assistant professor, Department of Electronics and Communication, Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology, Davangere. Ganesh felt it was high-time the department enabled public participation in maintenance of the encyclopedia.

Users also said the website lacked search engine optimisation and hence the Kanaja content did not show up on Google. “How will people get to know what information exists within these books, if it does not show up during a search?” U B Pavanaja, editor, Vishva Kannada online magazine, asked.  

The other common complaint was that the files uploaded in PDF format were not compatible with Indian languages, which again contributed to the text not being recognised during Google search. Kannada & Culture Secretary R R Jannu said they were in the process of fixing all the glitches. “The website needs a revamp. I’ve directed the officials concerned to take up the same. It will be done shortly,” he said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)