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Knowledge Society: Implications for the Indian Society

Abstract In a Knowledge Society, knowledge is the powerful resource that would provide the bones and sinews for socio-economic development of a country. While historically all societies have thrived on the basis of knowledge, it is only from the second decade of the 20th century, knowledge has taken the central place in all the developmental process. It is because of the huge investments in knowledge creation and use, through Information and Communication Technology. A new Knowledge Universe is perceived which comprises Knowledge created by R & D, tacit knowledge of individuals and embedded knowledge in natural resources and artifacts. The Indian Society is poised for economic growth with the liberation economic policy of the Government. Economic pundits predict India will emerge as a strong economic power in the next few decades. Despite numerous problems which are threatening the pace of economic growth, the government has established the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) (2005) to create the Knowledge strength for application in the diverse spheres of developmental activities. A knowledge Pentagon is visualized with five focal areas viz., Access, Concepts, Creation, Applications and Services which constitute a Knowledge base. Concrete proposals for E-Governance have been recommended to reengineer the government machinery to be citizen centered. One of the Working Groups of NKC is for Libraries and Information Services. Ten recommendations have been made with 5 special annexures in an elite group of professionals and experts. It is likely that a new class of professionals would be turned out in the next few decades who will manage Library and Information Services in the light of socio-economic development processes suggested by NKC. The Knowledge Society of the 21st century will throw new opportunities and challenges to the library and information professional community.

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