An ambitious scheme aimed at creating a National Virtual Library, which is to be a comprehensive database of digital resources in the country, today received the government's nod.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval to the Ministry of Culture proposal to upgrade public libraries as part of the National Mission on Libraries (NML).
The scheme, which would benefit researchers, scientists, artists, students, children, differently-abled persons, the general public and neo and non-literates, would entail an expenditure of Rs 400 crore during the 12th Plan period.
The plan envisages creation of a National Virtual Library database on digital information about India and on information generated in India. This would be facilitated in an open- access environment, a statement said.
The scheme would develop six libraries under the Ministry of Culture, 35 state central libraries and 35 district libraries as model libraries, with particular emphasis on economically-backward districts.
In addition, 629 district libraries to would be set up as part of the network.
The scheme intends to prepare baseline data of libraries in India through a quantitative and qualitative survey of 5,000 libraries. It also proposes to enhance the professional competence of library personnel.
For setting up of the model libraries, existing libraries would be identified in consultation with state governments with a view to improving their infrastructure and upgrading the technology used by them.