India launches National Digital Library – A cybernetic repository of 1.7 crore books in 200 languages

On the occasion of National Reading Day, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday launched the National Digital Library of India (NDL), a new digital initiative of the MHRD.

It is a digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction and all other kinds of learning media.

“A new era of Digital India has begun as we dedicate this Digital Library to the nation,” the minister said while launching the NDL.

He said that the National Digital Library is a 24×7 ubiquitous knowledge resource that is accessible to anyone with internet access and it is built to enable the rise of Digital India.

“Anybody can access the digital library anytime and anywhere absolutely free of cost and will contribute greatly to the Government’s commitment towards Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat,” he added.

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The minister said that there are around 11 lakh government schools in India. All those schools would be given library grant between INR 5,000 and INR 20,000 every year, depending on their size.

“The platform will also be helpful for those who are planning to do research, prepare for competitive exams and also those who just want to attain knowledge,” he added.

A project of the MHRD under the aegis of National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), the NDL is designed to make digital educational resources available to all citizens of the country to empower, inspire and encourage learning.

“The NDL is a digital library that makes quality learning resources available to all learners and has 1.7 crore content from more than 160 sources in over 200 languages, everywhere and 30 lakh users are registered on NDL as on date and our target is to increase the users 10 times in a year,” he added.

Developed by IIT Kharagpur, the NDL is a Single Window Platform that collects and collates metadata from premier learning institutions in India and abroad, as well as other relevant sources.

He said that the NDL platform is collaborative in nature and extended his regards to contributing institutions which have made available their digital repositories for integration with the NDL.

“Apart from the website, the NDL is also available on the mobile app. The NDLI Mobile app is enabling access to the rich digital content of libraries across the country and even foreign repositories to users even in the remotest of areas,” he added.

He further said that the app, which has been downloaded over 6.70 lakh times, is currently available for both iPhone and Android users.

“Users can search for content using various parameters such as subject matter, source, content type and more. Right now the app is available in three languages – English, Hindi, and Bengali,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Culture (I/c) Dr Mahesh Sharma, said that the National Digital Library, an initiative by MHRD, together with National Virtual Library of India, platform by Ministry of Culture, will enable India to leave an indelible mark on the world stage.

“Education and culture are the cornerstones in the concept of India’s ‘Unity in Diversity’ and National Digital Library is a path-breaking initiative by MHRD in this direction,” he added.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satya Pal Singh said that it is a very important day in the history of India as the nation gets its own National Digital Library.

“In earlier times students had to struggle because of non-availability of books and other study materials, but now this initiative will make the educational resources easily accessible,” he said, adding, “The NDL aims to make a paradigm shift in education and research in India by enabling every citizen with the knowledge resources they need to empower themselves.”