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Govt of India Launches Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya to Promote Reading Among Youth

New Delhi: In a significant step towards fostering a love for reading among Indian children and youth, the Department of School Education, Ministry of Education, Government of India, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Book Trust (NBT). This collaboration, under the aegis of the Department of Higher Education, aims to create an institutional framework for the Digital Library Platform, Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya. The signing ceremony took place in New Delhi today, attended by prominent officials including Shri K. Sanjay Murthy, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, and Shri Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy (DoSE&L).

In his address, Shri K. Sanjay Murthy highlighted the crucial role non-academic books play in the educational journey of children, aiding them in making informed choices about their future fields of study. He urged the National Book Trust to engage faculty members from academic institutions to contribute quality books for inclusion in the Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya.

Shri Sanjay Kumar emphasized the importance of cultivating a reading habit among students. He pointed out that the Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya will be accessible round-the-clock, regardless of the readers’ geographic locations, thereby making books more accessible. He noted that this initiative would address the ‘last mile’ library presence issue in many states, ensuring that quality reading material is within reach for all students. He also highlighted the role of the Content Enrichment Committee in curating the books to be included on the platform, projecting that over 10,000 books in more than 100 languages would be available in the next 2-3 years.

Smt. Archana Sharma Awasthi underscored the significance of including non-academic titles in the Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya. She announced that over 1,000 books in 23 languages, including English, have already been added to the digital library.

Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya, a pioneering digital library, is designed to instill a lifelong love of reading among Indian children and youth. It will offer over 1,000 non-academic books published by more than 40 reputed publishers in over 22 languages, including English. The digital library aims to make quality books available across geographies, languages, genres, and age groups, providing device-agnostic access for children and adolescents. The books will be categorized according to age groups as outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020: 3-8 years, 8-11 years, 11-14 years, and 14-18 years.

The Rashtriya e-Pustakalaya app will be available for download on both Android and iOS devices. Its features will include books in various genres such as adventure, mystery, humor, literature, fiction, non-fiction, self-help, history, biographies, comics, picture books, science, and poetry. The initiative aims to foster cultural awareness, patriotism, and empathy, aligning with the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

This project is expected to bridge the digital divide and create an inclusive atmosphere for all readers. By signing the MoU, DoSEL and the National Book Trust commit to improving the educational environment through this cooperative endeavor, potentially transforming the availability of quality non-academic reading materials nationwide.

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