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Career Guidance Centres to come up in 3 city libraries, says Siddiqullah

Kolkata: The state Mass Education & Library department is developing Career Guidance Centres at three libraries in the city, to facilitate students who are appearing for competitive examinations like West Bengal Civil Services (WBCS).
The department will equip these libraries with books and other relevant study material so that the aspiring students can spend time in the library, preparing for their examination.
"We have come across a number of students, particularly among the minority community, who do not have a conducive environment for making preparations at their home. They can come in these libraries and utilise the books available here to prepare for the examinations," minister of state for Mass Education & Library Siddiqullah Chowdhury said.
The three libraries that will have this infrastructure are based in Ultadanga, Ballygunge and Kidderpore. The department has plans to extend this facility to some district libraries in future as well. It may be mentioned that the department is also trying to rope in teachers who can guide these students for competitive examinations.
According to Chowdhury, the government is taking a slew of measures to encourage the young generation to visit the libraries in the state. There are around 2,480 libraries and 300 of them have closed down.
"We have recently done a survey on the state libraries, conducted by a Gurgaon-based agency. It has come to light that people of the age group of 55 to 60 visit the state libraries. A number of libraries do not have toilets and drinking water. A library in the city has also been found with no facilities of drinking water and toilet. This is not desirable and we are working for developing these basic facilities," the minister said.
The government has decided to turn 80 libraries into model libraries and they will be receiving Rs 3 lakh each for complete overhaul of infrastructure.
The minister informed that the government is also providing funds to non-government sponsored libraries for boosting infrastructure. There are 1,036 such libraries in the state and in this current fiscal, a total fund of Rs 1.76 crore has been allocated to these libraries. "In the next financial year we will raise this allocation to nearly Rs 3 crore," Siddiqullah said
Reiterating the strong resolve of his department to popularise the libraries across the state, he said that the department will be observing 52 days in a special manner in the state libraries, dedicated to the birth or death anniversaries of religious leaders from all communities.

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