State and District libraries to be upgraded, CCEA approves proposed scheme

New Delhi, Nov.28 (ANI): The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved the Ministry of Culture's proposal of the scheme for upgradation of libraries providing services to the public under the National Mission on Libraries (NML).

The scheme would benefit students, researchers, scientists, children, artists, differently abled persons, the general public, neo and non-literates and would entail an expenditure of Rs.400 crore during the 12th Plan period.

The scheme envisages creating a National Virtual Library of India for facilitating a comprehensive database on digital resources on information about India, and on information generated in India. This would be facilitated in an open access environment.

The scheme would develop six libraries under Ministry of Culture, 35 state Central Libraries and 35 District Libraries, with particular emphasis on economically backward districts, as model libraries. In addition, 629 district libraries across the States would be provided network connectivity.

The scheme intends to prepare a baseline data of libraries in India through a quantitative and qualitative survey of 5000 libraries to collect detailed information on quality characteristics and performance indicators, in terms of their traditional role as readership promoters. It would also be assessed whether these libraries meet the requirement of their users in the electronic/internet era.

The scheme also proposes to enhance the professional competence of library personnel.

For setting up of the NML model libraries, existing libraries would be identified in consultation with State governments, to improve infrastructure and upgrade technology used by them. Efforts would be made to locate them along with educational institutions.

Library professionals working in public and other libraries would be given need based training to improve their managerial skill and competence to utilize Information Communication Technology applications.

While the survey of libraries would be completed within one year, the other objectives of the scheme would be achieved by the end of the 12th Plan period. (ANI)