With everything going digital nowadays, it was high time that someone did the same for our libraries. And, thankfully, one of India's premier institute, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur has developed an app for the same.

The institute has given bibliophiles around the world the gift of accessing 65 lakh books, research papers, theses, journals and periodicals absolutely free of cost with the help of just one app. Called the National Digital Library of India (NDL), the exhaustive knowledge repository can be accessed by anybody owning a smartphone or desktop.

In a statement given to TOI, P P Chakraborty, director of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur says, “With the exponential growth in mobile usage, the NDL app will enable access to rich digital content of libraries across the country and even foreign repositories to users even in the remotest of areas, which is unique not just in the Indian, but also in the global context. The world has never seen a digital repository like NDL, which is focused on education.”

The app, which comes with features to search, browse, filter, tag, comment and view metadata, has already recorded 9 lakh users. It also comes with an 'Advanced Search' feature which will help bibliophiles find the exact book/information they're looking for.

The project, which was started by India's Ministry of Human Resource Development, now houses NCERT textbooks, textbooks from eight state education boards, previous years exam papers of UPSC, JEE and GATE, NPTEL and spoken tutorials, papers and theses from IISc, ISI, nine IITs, two IIMs and three IISERs, publications from eight laboratories of CSIR, publications from two laboratories of ICAR and Krishikosh, IEEE, PubMed, LibriVox (audio books), South Asia Archive, World e-Book Library, Satyajit Ray Society, OECD, INFLIBNET and more.

The National Digital Library of India has also joined hands with Europeana, which is the umbrella library of Europe for Culture & Museum. There was an initiative called the Digital Library of India, which was started more than decade back with a charter to digitise one million rights-free books and make them available. This has also now been integrated in National Digital Library.

The app, which was launched a month ago and is currently available only for Android users, has been downloaded more than 1,00,000 times from Google's Play Store. An iOS version of the app is also in the making.

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