The readership of digital libraries and the number of downloads of e-learning apps have shot up due to the nationwide lockdown.
By Manasvi Gupta
Stuck at home and bored of reading the same syllabus books, Inayat—a college student, tried to surf through the college’s and state’s digital library for additional resources that could help broaden her perspective on the topics of her choice.
She is using the lockdown phase productively, instead of ranting about how she can’t go outside now.
Inayat is smart. Be like Inayat.
Yearning to learn and to use the lockdown phase productively, students have taken to digital library resources and e-learning apps to satisfy their learning hunger.
Comprising of e-books, videos, and other interactive modes of learning, the access to the National Online Education Platform SWAYAM—a project to bridge the digital divide by targeting the underprivileged students– and other digital initiatives of Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry had tripled in the last weeks of March, as announced by the HRD Minister.
The National Digital Library of India is also being accessed by about 43,000 people daily now—more than double the usual number of people accessing it, stated the announcement.
Jasmeen Bansal, a Computer Science engineering student said, “Our college has provided us with various e-learning apps to utilize the time productively.”
“It is just because of the lockdown that we are using them, otherwise I don’t think we had used them before as frequently as we do now,” she added.
Vanshita R. Baweja, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at a private college in Punjab, said, “Since the government has made compulsory for the educational institutions to provide students with appropriate learning resources, the demand for digital learning platforms have increased drastically, and the good part is that students are following it sincerely.”
The digital platforms provide books and resources which range from school and college curriculum to other competitive examinations. They have included several subjects pertaining to the needs of every student, like science, engineering subjects, arts, humanities, architecture, etc. Also, students and teachers have reported that most of them provide free quality resources for the readers.
Dr. Gurjeet Kaur, General Secretary at the Punjab Library Association revealed that the association is also contributing to quality online resources for the students. “We have received orders from higher authorities to add more courses to the existing ones in our portal during the lockdown month, and also to provide them for free.”
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, several websites and apps have also come up with interesting initiatives to engage people in reading and relieve them from the boredom. #ReadInstead Lit Fest by Juggernaut is one such initiative. National Book Trust of India had also prepared a catalogue under #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks initiative to provide resources for free.
(Image credits- Inayat Gupta)