Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that nearly 9,000 libraries across the country will be linked digitally. The move under the National Mission for Libraries aims to cover 9,000 libraries in cities, towns and villages of the country the next three years.
“A young reader sitting in his village public library should be able to access books and information from across the world. The Mission will conduct a national census on libraries, work towards upgradation of infrastructure of reading resources, and seek to modernise and promote the networking of libraries across the country,” Singh said at the Centenary Celebration of the Oxford University Press in India.
Singh also said this mission will only be successful with the joint efforts of government, community, private sector and non-governmental organisations.
“I take this opportunity to urge every state government and every municipality and panchayat to pay special attention to the setting up and maintenance of public libraries, including community, locality and village libraries,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that affordable modern information technology can be deployed today to extend the resources of the libraries.
Observing that India had a huge number of youth hungry for education, Singh said it was a challenge as well as an opportunity for the government to equip them with the skills required to find productive and gainful employment.
“If we can achieve what we have set out to do, then we can create a huge asset pool in this new knowledge based world,” he said adding that India could fuel the engines of growth of the global knowledge economy.
“But for this the world has to remain open to the flow of such talent and skills. It is for this reason that India seeks a multilateral rule-based regime for the movement of not just intellectual property but also knowledge embodied in natural persons,” Singh said.