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Here's a website
that takes all guards off the defence!
(The Financial Express, 05 August 2001)
By Huma Siddiqui
New Delhi: Information that the government is unwilling to share with the public, especially that pertaining to defence matters is being pieced together by an enterprising group of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and can be viewed at a comprehensive defence website - Bharat Rakshak (BR) - with virtual reality content. The site is also working to get their sister site: www.amar-jawan.org fully complete and operational, and of launching a new image gallery in the Army section.
However, London-based computer scientist (Note: actually a web developer) and founder of BR, Seetal R. Patel told The Financial Express, "In a true sense, the origins of BR would be in early 1996 when my personal web site provided information relating to India. Although at that point there were many Indian sites, there was a serious lack of Indian defence and space-related information on the web. To get quality-up-to-date information on India defence, I tied up with an Indian military publishing house (Lancer Publishers of the United Kingdom)."
There were several other individual sites run by other NRIs, focusing on one particular branch of the Indian Armed Forces. The consortium of the various sites was Bharat Rakshak, he added. While there are several military site, including the official website of the Indian Armed Forces, but these fall short in one area or another (such as relevance in the Indian content, the contents are not updated, readability and scope of the content). At BR, the webmasters and administrators strive hard to give to its users what the other websites lack.
"The other key area which differentiates BR from others is the forum and range of photographic images that the site has to offer," Mr. Patel substantiated. Responding to a query of dealing with sensitive information, Seetal pointed out, "The forum being dynamic in nature proved to be a dilemma initially when it came to control of information, as the earlier versions of software lacked the functionality that allowed any form of tracking and control mechanisms. The way we, at present, control the flow of information in and out of the forum is through the process of monitoring and tracking." To keep the information updated and provide quality information, means increase in resources and revenue to support the site. "The revenue is mainly generated via internal funding and some occasional donations that we receive."