| India's First IT Guru S.R. Rangathanan|
I consider N.V. Satyanarayana, Managing Director of
Informatics, as the father of electronic library science in India.
And it was Satyanarayana who first told me about S.R. Ranganathan, the father of library sciences in India.
I then took interest in the life and works of Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan, and I find Ranganathan to be a great inspirational personality. Yet, not many within India have heard his name.
But everybody has heard of his principles: "Every man his book" said he, and "Every book its reader".
© Vikas Kamat
S. R. Ranganathan (1892- 1972)
IMO, Ranganathan was way ahead of his time. He was India's first IT
guru. A mathematician by education (B.A. and M.A. in Mathematics), he thought
deeply about information organization and classifications. He proposed what is
today known as the "Colon Classification System", which is fundamentally
different and IMO, fundamentally superior than the more established
classification systems (Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal System). For
programmers of today, colon classification is analogous to the object-oriented
model, where ability to change and adapt is built in.
Ranganathan was subject to many a hardships in the hands of government and
administration, and was repeatedly denied opportunities due to his caste. He
finally had to resign his job at the Madras University. But his ideas were
recognized by many scholars in Europe and in USA who saw the merits of a
future-proof content classification system. Ranganathan died in 1972 in
Ranganathan's multi-faceted classification ideas have found wide-ranging
applications in modern computer science -- from naming of reusable software
components to categorizing web content. That's why I am calling him India's first IT