The National Digital Library of India (NDLI), developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, has received an award in the category of Learning and Education at the World Summit Award (WSA) 2021 for its efforts to make resources available to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NDLI’s two pioneering services launched during the pandemic – Study at Home and COVID-19 Research Repository – were taken into consideration for the award.
Under the Study at Home service, the library offered free online resources for school students in various subjects. The digital public library also offered material for CBSE exam preparations.
Under the COVID-19 Research Repository, the library offered free resources such as scholarly publication, documentation and video, and journals and conferences. The library continues to provide these facilities.
This year, the annually held award received over 290 submissions from candidates across 182 countries. Applicants from various countries submitted their applications under several categories ranging from culture and tourism to learning and education.
A jury evaluated the projects submitted and selected five projects in each category. A total of 40 winners from 29 countries were shortlisted and recognised during the summit.
The WSA global congress will be held in March during which the WSA 2021 winners will be presented and awarded.
Within the framework of the United Nations’ World Summit on the Information Society, WSA was initiated in 2003. The organisational body of the award is the International Center for New Media, Salzburg, Austria. The award system was set up to promote local digital innovation which betters society. In 2021, the WSA worked with a network of 194 countries.
NDLI is sponsored by the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) that arranges funding for the library from the Union Ministry of Education. It offers free access to over 55 million educational resources to the public. The platform has study material from primary to postgraduate levels.
NDLI has a unique process where it digitally acquires and curates the metadata of educational content. The organisation is also noted for its vigorous online advocacy programme aimed at mobilising learners and influencers across India.