Mass Education Extension & Library Services Department
Government of West Bengal

Achievements

A. Directorate of Mass Education Extension

  • During the last four years, 8 evaluation exercises were conducted, covering 10,19,033 neo-literates/ learners under the Saakshar Bharat Programme in 10 districts (Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Coochbehar, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Bankura & Purulia)
  • 20 Model Adult Education Centres under SBP have been set up sponsored by CONCOR, under CSR assistance in Saakshar Bharat districts. Each Model Adult Education Centres has been supplied with computers, furniture, pedestal fans, TV, etc.
  • A new State Welfare Home for 100 inmates at Dudhkundi in the LWE affected Jhargram Sub-Division of Paschim Medinipur district has been set up. Possession of 1.5 acres land has been taken up for construction of building for Contai State Welfare Home for Girls in the district of Purba Medinipur.
  • Construction of 100-bed dormitory building for Girls’ at Bankura State Welfare Home was completed. Possession of 10 acres land for establishment of a State Welfare Home at Purulia-II Development Block in the Jangal Mahal area was received. Possession of 1.52 acres land for setting up of a State Welfare Home at Islampur in the district of Uttar Dinajpur.
  • A new scheme for conducting educational tours in Govt. Sponsored Schools for the students with disabilities was introduced.
  • A structured syllabus was introduced for the pre-primary students of all categories of disabilities including mental retardation.
  • During last 4 years, scholarships were awarded to 5837 disabled students studying in Class IX and onwards.
  • The first State-level Felicitation Function for the disabled students and students of State Welfare Home was organized in 2014. Altogether, 1470 students, who excelled in the Madhyamik & Uchcha Madhyamik examination in last four years, were felicitated through cash prizes and certificates.
  • The management structure of the Special Schools sponsored by the State Govt. has been revamped with a view to bringing about qualitative change and transparency in management.
  • A new scheme was introduced for holding a State-level Sports and Cultural Meet for the inmates of Social Welfare Homes.
  • A new scheme was introduced to provide reference Books to the students of Social Welfare Homes.
  • The Directorate of Mass Education Extension organized the International Literacy Day on 8th September throughout the State in a befitting manner. The central programme was organized in Rabindra Sadan, Kolkata.
  • Sports and cultural teams of the learners and neo-literates under Government Sponsored Literacy scheme from different parts of the State participated in the State level Sports and Cultural Meet. During the last 4 years, around 3150 learners from different districts attended the sports meet with full enthusiasm.

B. Directorate of Library Services

During the last five years major achievements are as follows:

  • A special thrust was made for the development of public libraries in Jangal Mahal, SC/ST areas, Sundarban Area, Hill areas and Minority areas. Rs. 94.10 crore was spent for the development of Public Library Services. Rs. 76.39 crore was released as special ad-hoc grant to Govt.-sponsored Public Libraries and special grants to Govt. Libraries.
  • An endeavor to modernize public libraries in the State was initiated by networking through a Wide Area Network (WAN) linking the Apex State Central Library and the 25 District Libraries through creation of a Web Portal. 170 Town Libraries & 200 Rural/Primary Unit/Area Libraries have been taken up under the purview of computerization programme. Training is being imparted to the Librarians in these libraries. Nearly 40,000 rare and old books have been converted into the digital format. Out of this, nearly 13,000 books are now available in the digital archives of the portal. Retro-conversion work for almost 3,25,000 documents has also been made during this period.
  • State Govt. organized Career Counseling / Guidance Centers in different Govt. and Govt. Sponsored District and Town / Sub divisional Libraries with financial assistance of Rs. 26.05 lakh per year to help the unemployed youths by providing various information, books, journals, newspapers, periodicals etc. for appearing in competitive examinations.
  • Around 40 Women's Corners in different Govt. & Govt. sponsored libraries in the State have been opened to increase access to women readers, including neo-literates in identified areas, particularly in areas of minority population concentration in the State.
  • Supply of books to public libraries in Nepali, Santhali, Urdu and Hindi languages has been undertaken by the Book Selection Committee for selection of books under the matching scheme of State Govt. Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation.
  • A unique experiment in convergence has been initiated whereby the Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU) which was facing a shortage of study centres in the State was allowed to utilize the existing infrastructure of the public libraries under this Department. NSOU’s study centres were opened in 7 Govt. Public Libraries benefitting thousands of students through open distance learning mode.
  • To emphasize the importance of public libraries in the State, the Government notified 31st August as the “Public Library Day” in West Bengal. The same has observed in a befitting manner at the State, district and sub-district levels for the last two years. During this last four years, Book Fairs were successfully held in all districts of the State including Darjeeling, where this event was hosted after a long gap.
  • Additionally, during 2015-16 an amount of Rs. 29 crore was spent as adhoc special grant to Govt. / Govt. Sponsored / Govt. Aided and to some Non Govt. Non Sponsored Public Libraries towards development of their infrastructure. During this period also special thrust was made for the development of public libraries in the areas of Jangal Mahal, SC/ST areas, Sundarban Area, Hill areas, Tea Garden Area and Minority areas.
  • Additionally, during 2015-16 out of the total 170 Town / Sub-divisional libraries total 164 Town / Sub-divisional libraries are now connected with internet and nearly 18,000 books were uploaded in the digital archives of the portal. Nearly 11 Lakh catalogue data has also been created in machine readable format.
  • Additionally, during 2015-16 around 10 Women's Corners in different Govt. & Govt. sponsored libraries in the State have been opened to increase access to women readers, including neo-literates in identified areas, particularly in areas of minority population concentration in the State.
  • For the last couple of years, "Public Library Day" in West Bengal has been observed in a befitting manner at the State, district and sub-district levels.
  • During 2015-16, undertaken the process of survey of all Govt., Govt. Sponsored, Govt. Aided Public Libraries as well as Community Library cum Information Centres (CLICs) to know the status of their present services and infrastructure of the said public libraries in West Bengal as well as to create a State level digital database for further recommendations planning. 50% of the said work has been done.
  • During 2014-15, 24 age-old Non Govt. Non Sponsored libraries in the State were selected for adhoc financial grant in the tune of Rs.70,22,921/- towards development of their infrastructure and collection. In the year 2015-16, the said amount was disbursed.
  • One permanent computer training lab. in State Central Library has been established to train the existing employees of libraries as well as of our office staff.
  • For convergence programme of Public Libraries with the University Library, for the first time we have extended financial assistance of Rs. 89,15,000/- to the Presidency University & Rs. 2,00,00,000/- to the University of Calcutta so that the benefit of vast and rich collection of University Libraries can be shared and extended among the General Public of the society.
  • The construction work of one Govt. Library, namely, 'Mati Sathi'- Government Additional District Library, at Himanchal Vihar, Matigara, Siliguri was completed.