Rs 1000cr library mission

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 28.05.12
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New Delhi, May 27: The government has launched an ambitious Rs 1,000-crore plan to digitally link 9,000 libraries across India.

The culture ministry has set up a National Mission on Libraries, headed by former Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental.

During the centenary celebration of the Oxford University Press, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said: “A young reader sitting in his village public library should be able to access books and information from across the world.”

This was one of the key recommendations of the Sam Pitroda-led National Knowledge Commission. The cabinet secretariat pushed for the proposal on March 20 this year.

Also planned is a survey of reading habits of Indians and to revive community libraries and reading rooms.

The 10-member panel includes former Infosys chief N.R. Narayana Murthy’s wife Sudha and H.K. Kaul, secretary of the department of higher education, ministry of human resource development.

The Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation will be the nodal agency for the mission. It will double as a secretariat for the mission and also help fund book acquisitions.

The mission will also be responsible for drafting a “national policy on library and information systems for India”.

“There has to be quality benchmarks for services to be adhered to by all libraries. Currently, there is no blueprint that you can follow,” said a senior official.