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                                  The announcement of an Open access policy by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research on Friday, 13th September, 2013 is one of the most welcome developments in recent times, and is a measure of the sagacity and foresight displayed by decision makers of this premier institution. It is a Red Letter Day not only for ICAR but also all the stakeholders within the agricultural community and the public at large. The wealth of knowledge and information generated by ICAR and its constituents spread across the country  is not just a knowledge repository but a veritable treasure house. The prime beneficiary of this landmark decision will be the National Agricultural Research System(NARS) itself, which is one of the largest initiatives of its kind in the world and encompasses within its fold a mammoth research establishment comprising both the public and the private sectors.

                                  The open access initiative is a timely solution to the publishing problems which plague the academic world and the scientific community is only too familiar with it. This innovative step will engender a culture conducive to knowledge sharing and generation and the eventual salvation in the academic sense. The advent of the digital age and the proliferation of the web and the internet is the right backdrop in which to nurture it further.

                                  A fundamental premise of all knowledge, data, and information is that it has the power and ability to transform our lives and is too valuable to be locked up inside a vault. More often than not it is produced using public funds and denial of the right to access to potential beneficiaries is an outrageous violation of citizen’s rights.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.