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India launches National Digital Library

On 19 June, the Union Human Development Minister, Mr Prakash Javadekar
launched the National
Digital Library
in the country’s capital. The library is a source of
millions of academic texts from around the world which will be open to the
general public.

According to an official
release by the Human Resource Development (HRD)
, the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) is
a project of the Ministry under the National Mission on
Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)
The National Digital Library aims to make digital educational resources
available to all Indian citizens to empower, inspire and encourage learning.

The work on developing
and implementing the National Digital Library
began in 2015; it was
built by the Indian
Institute of Technology in Kharagpur
using technology provided the
HRD Ministry. The digital library is just one project under the Digital India
plan that was initiated by Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi.

Mr Prakash
Javadekar said that the National Digital Library will make learning resources
available to users, the library has over 17 million source materials from more
than 160 sources, in over 200 languages and according to the press release,
around 3 million users are registered on the National Digital Library.

Apart from the
website, the Ministry has also made the National Digital Library available on
phones through its mobile application; the National Digital Library Mobile App
will enable people to access a vast reservoir of digital content from not only
the country but across the globe as well. Digital information will be able to
reach users even the most remote parts of India. 

Mr Prakash Javadekar said that
the app, which already has 670,000 downloads, is currently available for both
iPhone and Android users; learners can look for particular information using
parameters like the subject matter, source, and content type etc. As of now,
the app is available in three languages – English, Hindi and Bengali.

The National
Digital Library uses a single-window system to increase efficiency through time
and cost savings. The platform collects and organises metadata from leading
learning institutions in India and from across the globe. It is a digital
repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audiobooks, lectures,
simulations, fiction and other kinds of learning media.

According to Mr Prakash
Javadekar, the National
Digital Library is a round-the-clock knowledge centre that is will be made
accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Anybody can access the
digital library anytime and anywhere and will be contributing to the Government’s
Read More India (Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat)plan
aims to improve the language and mathematics skills of the youth of the
country, primarily.

The National
Digital Library initiative will be able to help thousands of students in the
country by providing free source material like textbooks and guides that were
previously hard to come by, being both expensive and limited. The Minister of
Culture, Dr Mahesh Sharma
stated that the collaboration between the National Digital Library by Ministry
of Human Resource Development and the National
Virtual Library of India
platform by Ministry of Culture will reach a
large number of leaners in India and attract global attention with its

The National
Virtual Library of India, which is a part of the National Mission on Libraries
of the Ministry of Culture, is also an online library with resources covering a
large number of fields, including arts, music, dance, culture, theatre,
science, technology, archaeology, literature, e-papers and manuscripts, among
others. All of this information has been gathered, collated and presented on a
single online platform- the website.

The National Digital Library will change the way
education is accessed and presented in India, and through this initiative,
every citizen in India will be given the digital tools and resources to empower

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