The Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the state Legislative Assembly that a new policy on libraries will be unveiled in the next legislature session.
Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant informed the Lower House that the new policy will give a boost to the movement of rural libraries in Maharashtra.
At present there are 12,149 recognised public libraries in the state, he said, adding that since 2012-13, permission had not been given for new libraries and upgradation of the existing libraries.
“A committee was set up to formulate a policy for libraries regarding upgradation of the existing ones, provision of grants and recruitment of staff,” he said.
“The report has been given to the law and judiciary department and the new policy will be unveiled in the next session,” the minister added.
“In the last few years, permission was not given to open new government-aided libraries,” he said, adding that the new policy will help strengthen the library movement at village level.
The local authorities will be given powers to set up libraries in the villages, Samant said.
The committee has also surveyed the existing libraries.
Members cutting across the party lines stressed the need to encourage the library movement and inculcate reading habits among people, especially in view of the rising use of social media.
The legislators also called for the need to digitise important manuscripts available in libraries.
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