Union Human Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday launched the National Digital Library, a repository of millions of academic texts from around the world which will be open for all to use.
The digital library at present hosts 17 million-plus items (books, audiobooks, images etc) in 200-plus languages from more than 170 institutions.
It has been built by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, under a project given it by the HRD Ministry, with work on it starting in early 2015.
A beta-version of the portal was launched last year and is being used by millions of users already since, but an official announcement was made only on Tuesday.
"Earlier this digital library was limited to schools and other educational institutes only but we are breaking that barrier now. This will be open to all. On it more than 1.7 lakh books available, not just in text but in form of audiobooks as well. We are dedicating this treasure to the nation. This is free of cost now and will remain free of cost," Javadekar told the media during the official launch.
Currently, there are over 30 lakh users of the portal which include schools, higher learning institutions and others.