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Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)

Topic covered:

  1. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.


Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL)


What to study?

For prelims and mains: TKDL- features, significance and need.



Context: AYUSH ministry and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi will collaborate in research and education in areas of traditional systems of medicine and its integration with modern science.

This is not the first collaboration of the two organisations. CSIR and the Department of AYUSH (now Ministry) developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL).


About TKDL:


  • The Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is an Indian digital knowledge repository of the traditional knowledge, especially about medicinal plants and formulations used in Indian systems of medicine.
  • Set up in 2001, as a collaboration between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the MINISTRY OF AYUSH.
  • objective of the library is to protect the ancient and traditional knowledge of the country from exploitation through biopiracy and unethical patents, by documenting it electronically and classifying it as per international patent classification systems.
  • Apart from that, the non-patent database serves to foster modern research based on traditional knowledge, as it simplifies access to this vast knowledge of remedies or practices.


The TKDL contains documentation of publicly available traditional knowledge (TK) that:

  • relates to Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga
  • is in digitized format
  • is available in five languages: English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish.




  • seeks to prevent the granting of patents for products developed utilizing TK where there has been little, if any, inventive step
  • intends to act as a bridge between information recorded in ancient Sanskrit and patent examiners (with its database containing information in a language and format understandable to patent examiners)
  • facilitates access to information not easily available to patent examiners, thereby minimizing the possibility that patents could be granted for “inventions” involving only minor or insignificant modifications.