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Libraries under the Concurrent List: Good News for Public Libraries

The Union Ministry of Culture will likely introduce a Bill in Parliament to bring libraries under the Concurrent List, where the central and state Governments have equal jurisdiction. This would mean that both Parliament and state legislatures could make laws to administer public libraries, with the central law taking precedence over the state law in case of a conflict.

     This decision was taken during the two-day ‘Festival of Libraries’ held in August 2023 in New Delhi, where many prominent speakers proposed the idea of more Central control over libraries. Further, the Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture report on the functioning of central libraries in the country; pointed out several lapses in administering public libraries and recommended some major changes.

      The Managing Director of the RRRLF, Kolkata, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, revealed that the present government is planning to bring the subject of “libraries” to the Concurrent list of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution similar to Education, which is already under the Concurrent List.

 Dr M Koteswara Rao

Former Librarian,

University of Hyderabad

 

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