India has launched a very ambitious and promising initiative known as Digital India. It would ensure electronic delivery of services in India that has been missing so far. Some of the core areas that would be covered by Digital India include public Healthcare, Education, Judicial services etc. Every single are of Digital India would take decades of planning, hard work and actual implementation. For instance, the enabling Indian educational system through use of information and communication technology (ICT) would require not only policy changes at the apex level but also actual implementation of these policies by the education stakeholders.
According to Business Standard, Indian government has proposed digital e-book versions of school syllabus. Under the current proposal, the central government is planning a project to convert all books covered under school curricula into e-books. The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) is building the platform to host the e-books. The ministry of education would identify the curricula and the books which will be first available on the platform. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) would also help in short listing of such books.
Traditional and print form books have dominated market share for long. However, there is a gradual shift towards e-books publication, distribution and e-commerce. Private companies are already exploring the e-books segment for NCERT curriculum. However, consolidation of e-books industry is yet to happen and Indian government’s e-books initiative may prove useful in this regard. At the same time, e-books publication laws in India must also be followed to avoid unnecessary litigations and copyright violation claims and to strengthen the national litigation policy of India.
We at Perry4Law and Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) believe that the e-books publication, sales and distribution laws in India are still maturing and conflict of laws in cyberspace is a major hurdle before this branch of law. In the absence of a techno legal framework in India, e-books of publishers may face international copyright violations and breach of other rights of the owners/publishers. Legal remedies in India would not be effective in these circumstances.
Despite present techno legal challenges, the e-books project of Indian government is a landmark initiative. We at Perry4Law and PTLB welcome this move of Indian government and hoe that the e-books platform would be made operational by CDAC before the start of 2015.