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Unit 1- Library and Information Policy at National Level

Definition of National Information Policy

“A National Information Policy is a set of decisions taken by a government, through appropriate laws and regulations, to orient the harmonious development of information transfer activities in order to satisfy the information needs of the country. A National Information Policy needs provision of necessary means or instruments such as financial, personnel, institutional, for concrete implementation.”

To the library and information professionals, information policy deals with issues relating to contents of documents that carry all form of information, organizational mechanisms to collect, store, process, disseminate and serve them to a variety of users according to their information needs. These issues should get focused in a policy statement on information.

The levels of hierarchy of steps involved in devising a framework for formulating National Information Policy are (1) Goal, (ii) Policy, (iii) Strategy and (iv)Program.
These four levels have to be mutually compatible, the lower ones get derived from the upper.

Goal spells out the target to be achieved.

Policy is a statement for a commitment to a course of action to achieve the set target.

A strategy is a predetermined course of action, usually selected
from a number of alternatives.

A Program is a scheduled set of activities or tasks undertaken to implement a strategy

National Policy-on Library and Information System (NAPLIS)

The Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, appointed in October 1985 a committee of senior library scientists and other specialists, with Prof. D.P. Chattopadhyayaas chairman, to prepare a draft document on the National Policy on Library and Information System.

The Committee completed its assignment and submitted a draft
document to the Government on May 31, 1986.

The ten Chapters of the document deal with elements such as Preamble, Objectives, Public Library System and the Bibliographical services, Manpower Development and Professional status, Modernization of Library and information System, Central Professional issues and implementing agencies and financial support. 

Each chapter makes specific recommendations with reference to upgrading and coordinating the existing library and information systems and initiating new programs, relevant to our national needs, using information technology.

Two important and significant events of far reaching implications have happened in the last ten years.

The first is the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act 2002

The Main features of the Freedom of Information Act of 2002 are as follows:

Every citizen of India have the freedom of information defined in the right to obtain information from public authorities, subject to certain conditions stated in the Act.

The Act defines information as material in any form relating to the administration, operation or decisions of a public authority.

Requests for information have to be made in writing and a fee will be charged for the service.

Public bodies have to publish details about their functions and activities at prescribed intervals.

Exceptions to certain types of information that might harm the interest of the public bodies are to be stated.

Promotional measures including the provision of Information Officers are to be given.

Individuals who release information on wrongdoing-whistleblowers must be protected.

and the second, was setting up of a high level Task Force for a Information Technology Action Plan in 1998.

Extra Facts:

MacBride Report : A report on the New International Information
Order in relation Mass Media. Also known by the name “ Many Voices and One World”


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