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`Libraries' digitisation will revolutionise education'

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T.A.V. Murthy.
T.A.V. Murthy.

Special Correspondent

149 libraries have been digitised at a cost of Rs. 30 crores

Through the programme students have been exposed to millions of e-books and e-journals Every year INFLIBNET spends about Rs. 100 crores on digitisation of libraries in universities

GULBARGA: Director of Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) T.A.V. Murthy said here on Saturday that the steps taken by INFLIBNET and the University Grants Commission (UGC) in e-learning and digitalisation of libraries in universities across the country will revolutionalise education in the country.

Mr. Murthy, who was here to participate in the international convention, "CALIBER 2006" hosted by the Gulbarga University, told The Hindu that during the Tenth Five Year Plan under the UGC-INFONET programme, 149 universities were digitalised at a cost of Rs. 30 crores.

Students in universities that are connected with the programme can access journals available on the Net.

Mr. Murthy said apart from access to digital information, students have been exposed to millions of e-books, e-journals and other material culled out from classroom lectures.

Students can access libraries across the country and refer to study material in any of the universities that are part of the network.

He said INFLIBNET and UGC propose to extend the UGC-INFONET facility to 16,000 colleges affiliated to different universities across the country from April.

The facility will be extended to 200 colleges in the country by December.

E-journal consortium

Mr. Murthy said INFLIBNET has also established a novel e-journal consortium, and at present 6,000 e-journals are available in the consortium. This initiative will help bridge the digital divide in universities and colleges.

He said the e-journal consortium established under the programme is the largest in the world. Every year INFLIBNET spends about Rs. 100 crores on digitalisation of libraries in universities and on subscribing to e-journals, he added. The initiative to digitalise libraries has been appreciated widely, and libraries in the United States have evinced interest in studying the success of INFLIBNET.

A milestone

Mr. Murthy said INFLIBNET proposes to provide one lakh e-textbooks to the networked libraries by April.

He termed this an important milestone in the history of INFLIBNET and the digitalisation movement.

Digitalized libraries enable self-learning and help students collect information and study material from different sources. Another important feature of the digitalised networked libraries is that the study material is available in all Indian languages.

He said INFLIBNET and UGC propose to extend the teleconferencing facility through the EDUSAT programme in all the networked universities during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period.

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