Published: 01st February 2023
Union Budget 2023-24: National Digital Library for children, adolescents announced to build reading culture
To build a culture of reading, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed on building a National Digital Library in her speech delivered during the budget session
During the presentation speech of the Union Budget 2023, today, February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a National Digital Library for children and adolescents to facilitate access to quality books and inculcate a culture of reading. "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," says the Finance Minister (FM), adding, "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."
Budget session 2023 which started today, holds particular significance owing to it being the last budget by the Modi government before the general elections of 2024. FM Sitharaman continued further to highlight the need to build a reading culture and make up for the loss in education during the pandemic. She says, "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 English to these physical libraries."
According to the speech by the FM, the government will also collaborate with NGOs (Non-governmental organisations) to aid the initiative. "Collaboration with NGOs that work in literacy will also be a part of this initiative to inculcate financial literacy, financial sector regulators and organisations will be encouraged to provide age-appropriate reading materials to these libraries," says FM Sitharaman.
Under education, the FM also emphasises the training of teachers and the building of 157 nursing colleges.