This website has been built as part of a
larger effort to create a series of websites based on Indian
philosophical texts. Our team works under a project in the Department
of Computer Science & Engineering at the Indian
Institute of Technology Kanpur. If you are interested in knowing
more about why we do this work and who we are, read on …
What we wish to do is to:
1. create a repository of Indian philosophical
texts on the Internet, and to make these freely available to whoever
2. create tools as well as a process that will make
the putting up of such texts on the web simple.
3. explore the different ways in which the content
can be presented, in order to enhance the study of these texts.
Our major website is the Gita
Supersite. It is not only the first site that we have built, but
even today, a large part of our collective effort is spent in
improving this site. We see this website as representative of all our
work, and also as a model of how we think such work should be done.
The seeds of this work were planted in
the pre-Internet days with a project undertaken by Dr. T.V. Prabhakar,
Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT) Kanpur, funded by the Chinmaya International
Foundation (1989). A DOS version of Swami
Chinmayananda’s book, The Holy Geeta was hyperised and published as Geeta
Vaatika (1992), perhaps the first
electronic book in India. After the emergence of Internet standards,
Geeta Vaatika was redone in HTML (1996).
As the World Wide Web grew, the
Government of India (Department of Electronics) funded a project that
continued this work. Work began on the Gita
Supersite , which included multiple commentaries and translations
of the Bhagavadgita.
A website was designed and built, with the programming (business
logic) initially all on the client side.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Information
Technology was born out of the Department of Electronics, and Resource
Centres for Indian Language Technology Solutions were established
throughout the country. Under one such Resource Centre established at
IIT Kanpur, work on the Gita
Supersite has continued. The technology was extensively reworked
and the content was converted into a database, with all the business
logic on the server side. Currently work is going on to convert the
data into a font-independent ISCII database, streamline the programs,
improve the audio content, add many more commentaries on the Bhagavadgita
and provide additional features on the site.
Meanwhile, the idea of building Heritage
Websites related to Indian philosophical texts emerged. A series of
websites were planned, including the Upanishads (to include 12 major
Upanishads with Sankara’s commentaries and translations in English
& Hindi), Brahma
Stura, Complete Works of Sankara, Ramcharitmanas
and the Yoga Sutra. Data-entry for all these websites is almost
complete and extensive proofreading is underway.
The experience of building websites in
Indian languages was shared with others and a bi-lingual site was
designed and built for the Uttar
Pradesh Trade Tax Corporation , Government of India. A site on the
life and works of the contemporary sage, Paramhans
Rammangaldasji was also built. Moving in another direction,
an all-Hindi site on disease-information and health, Bimari-Jankari
T.V. PRABHAKAR (Professor, IIT Kanpur). email@example.com
TVP is the heart of the group. Together with VC, he began this work
many years ago and, kept it alive and going, even in the occasional
absence of official funding. Passionate about learning and teaching,
he stays abreast of the latest on technology. Also passionate about
Indian philosophy: appears “inspired” to work on the Bhagavadgita
and Upanishads, often against great odds!
HARISH C. KARNICK (Professor, IIT Kanpur).
HK took over the group’s leadership when TVP went on a years’
leave. Putting in enormous energy and remaining accessible to the
group at all times, he has moved the work towards a major
consolidation of effort. The project is now unthinkable without him.
T. ARCHNA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Archna is the Subject Specialist in the group and directs the content,
interface and features of the websites. Would rather be an
out-of-work-philosopher than be employed in any other capacity. But is
interested in exploring technology to see how its use can enhance the
study of philosophical texts. She has a huge number of ideas and the
technology group can hardly keep pace with them.
MURAT DHWAJ SINGH. email@example.com
MD is the senior programmer in the group, having worked to build the
first version of the Gita Supersite. Quiet and unassuming, he has
picked up enormous experience in putting up Indian language websites.
His non-confrontationist attitude helps keep peace when tempers run
MADHU KUMAR DHAVALA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Madhu has joined the group mainly to develop and test our sites and
softwares. His major assets are his active participation in the group,
willingness to learn and a charming smile!
RAJEEV BHATIA. email@example.com
Rajeev is the local wizard on data-entry and proofreading. The
accuracy and speed of his typing, both in English and Devanagari are
truly remarkable, and his keen eyes catch errors that the proofreaders
miss. Over the years, Rajeev has quietly made himself indispensable to
SAURABH KUMAR. firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest recruit, Saurabh has joined the group mainly to test our
sites and software. His major assets are his active participation in
the group, willingness to learn and a charming smile!
DR. VINEET CHAITANYA email@example.com
(VC) was the driving force behind the Geeta Vaatika, as well as the
inspiration for the Gita Supersite. Now he watches our activities from
IIIT Hyderabad, and is still one of the few who truly understand the
spirit behind this work.
NAGARAJU PAPPU, the first one, wrote
100,000 lines of c-code for the initial versions of Geeta Vaatika. His
DOS version had more features than the current HTML one!
Apart from the current team, those who
have contributed to the growth of these websites in a major way
K. Anil Kumar, Anvita Bajpai, Ashutosh Sharma, Gita Pathak, Rajni
Moona, K. Ravi Kiran, Rohit Patwardhan, Samudra Gupta, Shrikant
Trivedi and Tripti Singh.
This work is currently being done
as part of the activities of the Resource Centre for Indian Language
Technology Solutions, Department
of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian
Institute of Technology Kanpur, India. The Resource Centres are
funded by the Ministry
of Information Technology, Government of India under its programme,
for Indian Languages. We gratefully acknowledge their financial