Failed mission adds to Manmohan's library of woes
By Cithara Paul | Published: 27th October 2013 07:25 AM |
Times are bad not just for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, at whose door the CBI has come knocking, but also for his dream projects, despite all good intentions.
The National Library Mission (NLM), conceived to modernise and digitally link nearly 9,000 libraries across the country, was one of Singh’s ambitious plans. And like many of his pet projects from GM crops, Nalanda University, South Asian University to professionalisation of government bodies, the NLM too is yet to take off.
The idea was mooted on the basis of recommendations made by the Sam Pitroda-headed Knowledge Commission appointed by the PM. Though the commission submitted its report way back in 2006, it took almost six years for the NLM to take shape despite Singh taking personal interest in the matter.
“We had submitted an expenditure plan of Rs 484 crore in 2008, but it was shot down by the Planning Commission. We were asked to cut down the plan drastically and that was it,” said a Culture Ministry official. Nothing happened on this front till the PMO intervened again in 2010 during UPA-II and a fresh proposal was drawn up. The PMO also appointed a Committee of Secretaries in October 2010 to look into the proposal.
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