History

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  was created.