Tuesday, April 05, 2011
India to make some traditional knowledge free access
Indian traditional knowledge could soon help researchers develop new drugs for diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, because of plans to make some of this knowledge publicly available. The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) has been in development since 2001, with more than 200 researchers compiling and translating traditional knowledge based on some 150 ancient texts and documenting around 200,000 medicines. So far, access to the TKDL has been restricted to agreed users — mainly patent offices worldwide — for fear of it being misused for commercial purposes, and now there are plans to release a small part of the information, which focuses on diseases of the poor, into the public domain, said Samir Brahmachari, director-general of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), where the project is hosted.