Budget 2019: All you need to know about Gandhipedia

Mahatma Gandhi is about to make an appearance on social media. Know more about the government’s novel idea to propagate Gandhian ideology

Budget 2019: All you need to know about Gandhipedia

Ending a word with 'pedia' was probably popularised by Encyclopedia Britannica, although it has its origin in Greek literature. The latest pedia set to catch popular imagination is Gandhipedia. The Union Budget 2019 has made a unique attempt to propagate Gandhian values among Indians, the young ones in particular. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her budget speech the intentions of the government to create a Gandhipedia to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhipedia is envisioned to be an online database on the life lessons and works of the Father of the Nation. It is being developed by the National Council for Science Museum and aims to sensitise youth and society at large about the great man.

Mahatma Gandhi’s affiliation to the Congress party is known to all and so are the ideological differences between his party and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Naturally, there are some reactions coming out from various sections of society on this announcement. The Congress has downplayed the intentions of the BJP as hypocritical, backing their claim with the fact that BJP workers have spoken against Gandhiji in the past. The Prime Minister, however, has gone on record to say that he would never be able to forgive anyone who insulted Mahatma Gandhi. 

Related: Budget 2019: What it means for you?

How will the Gandhipedia look?

Gandhipedia will be a social media portal that will contain original works on Gandhi. The portal will run on artificial intelligence and machine running and will be accessible to all. To be jointly implemented by IIT Kharagpur and IIT-Gandhinagar, it will act as a repository of knowledge on Gandhiji and will contain original photographs, visuals, speeches and collected works of Mahatma Gandhi.

How is Gandhiji’s database maintained at present?

At present, a repository of knowledge on Gandhiji is maintained by the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust in the form of the Gandhi Heritage Portal (www.gandhiheritageportal.org). This portal will continue to be available even after the Gandhipedia is inaugurated.

How will Gandhipedia be an improvement over existing Gandhian databases?

Gandhian information is available in archives and libraries across the country in physical and digital formats. The Gandhi Heritage Portal stores Gandhian works in portable document format (pdf). However, the information to be stored in Gandhipedia will be uploaded optical character recognition and other advanced technologies. As a result, all information in Gandhipedia will be in a searchable format. Besides, as mentioned above, the portal will be social media-based and use AI. One can expect it to be a much more interactive portal compared to its predecessors. Read this Key Highlights from Union Budget 2019


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