Investments on research and development by the various government departments, industries, institutional sources and others have been steadily rising. The decision-making involved in such investments is almost entirely dependent upon peer-knowledge. Without undermining a peer-review system, one can still find alternatives (or supportive) to human memory resident information, in the form of databases. These databases - bibliographic, factual, full-text, images and referral, are now widely available on CD-ROM format and also accessible online from national and international sources. These modern information facilities could help

So far, the science and technology workers and sponsoring agencies have not made much use of the facilities to access national and international sources of information available in the country. While the users are by and large ignorant of their existence, and the service providers are lethargic to reach out to their potential clientele, the sponsoring agencies are content with their archaic evaluation procedure. To keep in step with the knowledge development on a subject, it is necessary to adopt a systematic procedure:

A desirable change in the scenario will not come about unless the sponsoring agencies recognize the benefits of information use and ensure the following:

In this context, it may be mentioned that NISSAT is preparing a compendium of various information services in the country for mass distribution. In the 9th Plan, NISSAT also intends to prepare multi-media information education kits for various levels of users.

The R&D activities are now supported only by way of hardware-software, intellectual power, consumables and other costs. It is essential that an R&D group has the support of a strong information base and facilities for communication.

Either we keep abreast of all that is there in the global knowledge base or invite our ruin!

- A. Lahiri