Status of University Libraries in India

Status of University Libraries in India

Mayank Yuvaraj (Central University of Bihar, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch484

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India officially the Republic of India is a country that belongs to ancient times and occupies a greater part of South Asia. In area, India is the seventh largest country and second largest by population and boasts to have most populous democracy in the world. It is a constitutional republic comprising of twenty eight states, which have enormous degree of powers and control over its own affairs; six union territories and the Delhi national capital territory which includes New Delhi, the capital of India. India has shown substantial signs of progress in various domains since its independence (1947). Today, India ranks tenth among the most industrialized countries of the world.

Location, Geography, and Population

Indian subcontinent is a peninsula which is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the south west, Bay of Bengal in the south east and Indian Ocean in the south. India measures 3214 km from north to south and 2933 km from east to west and extends between latitudes 8o4'N and 37o6'N and longitude 68o7'E and 97o25'E. Indian subcontinent is set apart from other parts of Asia by the Himalayan ranges. India covers an area 3,287,263 sq. km which is seventh worldwide and has a literacy rate of 65.38%. Home to ancient Indus valley civilization India has been regarded of prime importance due to its commercial and cultural wealth. Throughout centuries Indian inhabitants have developed a rich intellectual life in the fields of mathematics, astronomy and architecture.


India is a sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic which follows parliamentary system of government. India`s central government is divided into three distinct but interrelated branches: legislative, executive and judiciary. The constitutional head of the executive branch of the union is the president but the real executive powers lies with the council of ministers. Governor as a representative of the president is the head of the executive body while union territories are administered by the administrator appointed by the president.


India`s glorious history is intimately tied with its geographical location. Indian history erupts from the Indus Valley civilization, more precisely referred to as the Harappa civilization (2500 B.C. – 1500 B.C.). India after 1500 B.C. was invaded by the Aryans who came out of the north who brought with them strong cultural traditions which miraculously still remains in force. India was later on unified under the Gupta dynasty during which the northern parts of India touched the skies as far as administration and the Hindu religion was concerned which has been referred as India`s golden age. During the eighth century Mughals invaded India and ruled India for 150 years. From mid eighteenth to mid nineteenth century India was annexed by the British East India Company. British rule faced strong opposition in the form of 1857 revolt which led to the first war of Independence (1857 – 1858). In 1947 India wrestled its independence from the British rule led by many freedom fighters and the visionary and non-violent ideas of Mahatma Gandhi. Acquisition of India`s independence paved the way for division of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Consortia: An association of libraries for the purpose of engaging in joint venture.

University Library: Libraries that are dedicated to aid in university education and teaching.

Manuscript: Any document written by hand is called manuscripts.

Legislation: It is a law which has been promulgated by a legislature or governing body.

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