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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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India's First IT Guru

 

Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat

India's First IT Guru Durable Link to this BLOG
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
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 Bangalore.

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 guru.

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