books

All CBSE textbooks and other learning material will be made available online by the NCERT, reports ET. According to Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani, NCERT has already made some of its books available online through its mobile app and e-books, and will look to add CBSE books, videos and other learning material.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) currently offers copyrighted textbooks online, covering all textbooks published by the agency including for classes I to XII in Hindi, English and Urdu. Conventionally, the agency also publishes books and provides sample question papers for the CBSE curriculum. We expect with this initiative, the NCERT will make the CBSE material available online along with the rest of the textbooks it offers.

Online student grievance portal: In July last year, the UGC said it would launch an ‘online students grievance redressal portal’ that would let students and the universities along with their affiliated colleges report their grievances related to unfair practices, admissions and other issues to the UGC. The portal was finally launched in March this year.

Also readCBSE launches online self-review tool for schools called Saransh

National Digital Library: Earlier this month the HRD ministry said that the first phase of its National Digital Library would be complete by February, starting with 1 million digitized books and journals from 100 institutes. The initiative is actually pretty old, as the DeitY had announced the program back in August 2010.

Too many platforms: In November, the University Grants Commission (UGC) said it would launch Bharatvani, with the objective of delivering content in all Indian languages through the online portal. There is also Sakshat, an initiative which aims to develop a variety of content like e-content for botany, commerce, history, economics etc. There is also another national library of India, run by the Ministry of Culture, which has only one book in the “recently digitized” section of the library, with the rest of its catalogue displaying no books at all.

MediaNama’s take: While it is great to see work being done to digitize books of a variety of topics in many languages, the Government’s approach has been haphazard. It is hard to see any concrete results when each department is launching its own digitisation initiative. Wouldn’t it be better to set up one centralized effort to digitize books with the help of other organizations? At the very least, this way, there would be more clarity and accountability on what is actually being done.

Image source: Flickr user simonbooth