The mission is to create a portal for the Digital Library of India which will foster creativity and free access to all human knowledge. As a first step in realizing this mission, it is proposed to create the Digital Library with a free-to-read, searchable collection of one million books, predominantly in Indian languages, available to everyone over the Internet. This portal will also become an aggregator of all the knowledge and digital contents created by other digital library initiatives in India. Very soon we expect that this portal would provide a gateway to Indian Digital Libraries in science, arts, culture, music, movies, traditional medicine, palm leaves and many more. The result will be a unique resource accessible to anyone in the world 24x7, without regard to socioeconomic background or nationality.

Typical large high-school libraries house fewer than 30,000 volumes. Most libraries in the world have less than a million volumes. The total number of different titles indexed in OCLC’s WorldCat is about 48 million. One million books, therefore, is more than the holdings of most high-schools, and is equivalent to the libraries at many universities and represents a useful fraction of all available books.

One of the goals of the Digital Library of India is to provide support for full text indexing and searching based on OCR (optical character recognition) technologies where available. The availability of online search allows users to locate relevant information quickly and reliably thus enhancing student's success in their research endeavors. This 24x7 resource would also provide an excellent test bed for language processing research in areas such as machine translation, optical character recognition, summarization, speech and hand writing recognition, intelligent indexing, and information retrieval in Indian languages.

It is our expectation that the Digital Library of India will be mirrored at several locations worldwide so as to protect the integrity and availability of the data. The DLI will also partner with other country specific Digital Libraries initiatives as part of the Universal Library Project (www.ulib.org) spearheaded by Prof. Raj Reddy and Carnegie Mellon University.