Budget 2023: What is the National Digital Library for Children?
Budget 2023: The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the Union Budget 2023 today. Among the ton of consequential announcements, one that missed the eye of many was the setting up of a National Digital Library for Children.
The library will be aimed mainly at youngsters and provide educational resources in all languages while also developing financial literacy among children and adolescents. The establishment of the National Digital Library for Children is a welcome step by the Government of India, especially at a time when digital education has become one of the primary mediums of studying. Read on to know more about the National Digital Library for Children and its significance.
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National Digital Library for children and adolescents
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Budget 2023: National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents
The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced to cheers and applause the establishment of a National Digital Library for Children and Adolescents while presenting the Union Budget 2023. Here’s what she said:
"A National Digital Library for children and adolescents will be set up for facilitating the availability of quality books across geographies, languages, genres and levels and device-agnostic accessibility. States will be encouraged to set up physical libraries for them at panchayat and ward levels and provide infrastructure for accessing the National Digital Library resources."
"Additionally, to build a culture of reading and to make up for pandemic time learning loss, the National book trust, the Children’s Book Trust and other sources will be encouraged to provide and replenish non curricular titles in regional languages and in English to these physical libraries. Collaboration with NGOs that work with literacy will also be part of this initiative. To inculcate financial literacy, financial sector regulators and organizations will be encourages to provide age-appropriate reading material to these libraries"
You can watch her full speech in the following video.
What is National Digital Library?
There is already a National Digital Library in India that makes educational resources available to all citizens of the country to encourage learning. It was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Education and was developed by IIT Kharagpur. However, the new National Digital Library for Children will only be for youngsters. Schoolchildren and adolescents will be the target readers of the National Digital Library for Children. And the library won’t just include educational resources but recreational ones as well. It will also inculcate financial literacy among students, which is the need of the hour nowadays.
Related: HRD Minister launches National Digital Library
What is the need for the National Digital Library for Children?
It has been a great year so far for India. After almost being crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is on the mend, and the economy is booming again. While everyone suffered significantly during the lockdown, it was children who suffered the most and in silence. While others were enjoying the solitude and thanking God for being alive, students were forced to study online. Almost half of India doesn’t have access to internet facilities, and in a flash, the entire education system became digitalized. From books and exams to actual classes, everything was conducted online.
But thankfully, schools have now reopened, and offline classes have begun along with online assistance. But the two years of damage will have to be undone. Many students fell behind due to the sudden transition to online education, and the move to set up a digital library with convenient access to numerous books will help them immensely. The government has also previously announced a National Digital University for ease of students.
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