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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invests $4M in Nasscom to modernize public libraries

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Nasscom Foundation has received a grant of $4.78 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for investing in bettering public libraries in India with access to technology, training and advocacy, reports the Mint.

Nasscom runs the Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM), an initiative to improve public libraries in India. The company will initially aim to modernize 300 district level libraries and provide them with computer training classes, access to online information about agriculture and health etc. Seven libraries in Uttar Pradesh will run a pilot program with the help of the state government, with an overall 16 public libraries to be covered in the state.

National Digital Library: Note that other than such initiatives to modernize public libraries in partnership with private players, the Government has also been working on digitizing books for online libraries. The Human Resource Development ministry said in December that the first phase of its National Digital Library would be complete in 3 months, which would include 1 million digitized books and journals from 100 institutes.

Other than this, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had also said it would launch Bharatvani, with the objective of delivering content in all Indian languages through the online portal. Similarly, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) currently offers copyrighted textbooks online, covering all textbooks published by the agency.

Other developments:

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– Earlier this month, the Tamil Nadu Government and Nasscom set up a startup warehouse in Chennai, the first in the state. The warehouse is located on a 8000 sq.ft plot, and can house up to 50 startups at a time.

– Nasscom had also set up a 50,000 sq.ft startup warehouse in Bangalore with the help of the Karnataka Government in 2014. Other than at Bangalore and Chennai, Nasscom also has startup warehouses in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, Gurgaon and Hyderabad.

– Back in 2014, Pitney Bowes set up an accelerator as part of Nasscom’s 10,000 startups initiative.

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