Digital Library of India
Digital Library of India
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
National Digital Library of India (NDL India) is a pilot project initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) as a part of its National Mission titled Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). The facility is a digital library that stores information (metadata) about different types of digital contents such as books, articles, videos, audios, theses and other educational materials that applies to users from varying educational levels and capabilities. Through it, the Ministry seeks to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. This article seeks to create awareness of this account by examining its scope.
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NDL India is expected to cater to the likes of students of various levels, teachers, researchers, librarians, library users, professionals, differently abled users and other lifelong learners.
The NDL India system can be accessed by an individual/institute member equally, though access to the complete text of certain contents may require institutional membership.
Scope and Methodology of Operation
As already observed, the initiative is envisaged to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. The method of filtered and federated searching is applied to enable the learners to identify the appropriate resource with minimum effort and time.
The platform is designed to:
- Hold content of any language and render interface support for leading Indian languages.
- Provide support for all academic levels, including researchers and life-long learners.
- Assist students in preparing for entrance and competitive examinations and encourage people to learn and prepare from best practices across the world.
- Enable researchers to perform inter-linked exploration from multiple sources.
The project is now undergoing a framework design that is being scaled up with respect to content volume and diversity to serve all levels and disciplines of learners. The task of developing the aforementioned project is vested with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
NDL is a single window search facility that acts as a one-stop shop for all digital resources. The information provided here can be personalized in accordance with the educational level, choice of language, difficulty level, media of content and other similar factors, which may not be possible in other digital libraries.
The registration of an institution with NDL is undertaken by an Institutional Nodal Person (INP), who is responsible for getting all the persons of the institute into NDL India. The process can be initiated by filling up the registration form meant for this purpose and assenting to the Terms and Conditions specified by the portal. Upon the confirmation of registration by NDL India, the INP needs to submit the details of all users in a .csv file with First Name, Last Name and e-mail ID. These users will be receiving their respective login credentials on their e-mail addresses. As the entire project pertains to the dissemination of knowledge, no fee is attached for accessing the digital library.
Mode of Usage
The NDL India system can be accessed online through its portal. It can also be used through the mobile app platform.
Fundamental Accessing Norms
The portal can be accessed without any charges. However, the portal may direct the user to the materials of other institution services, which can only be accessed based on the policy and access rules of these institutions. The contents of the platform are available in various forms like text, audio, video, etc.
NDL India has explicitly stated that the responsibility and liability of the contents are vested with the respective source organizations and not NDL India. Any queries concerning the quality of the contents may be directed to the respective content provider.
Usage and Copyrights
NDL India makes its educational materials widely accessible through metadata. However, the contents may be protected by the copyright laws of the respective data providers and therefore any reproduction, redistribution, or commercial usage of these materials must be in adherence to those norms.
A Brief on Metadata
The term metadata refers to the data that represents contents and includes information that aids users in identifying, discovering, interpreting or managing content such as the name of the author of the work, the date of its initial creation/publication, the location of the physical object, or the description of the content. It may also include hyperlinks that direct users to the actual content on a content partner’s website. NDL is designed using an open virtual metadata standard.