I am working on a schematic that requires the operational amplifier MC34072P but I couldn't find it here in local stores! So, anyone would suggest any substitute to use? I'd be grateful. And by the way, what are the basic things should I look at in specs to compare such ICs? Thanks in advance!
Good news: almost any opamp can handle this, so that I wonder how you got at the MC34072P, especially since you can't find it. You don't need a high bandwidth or slew rate, or low noise and distortion.
Your main requirements will be power supply and output drive. The LM358 can source minimum 20 mA, typical 40 mA which is probably enough to drive your LED. This current is specified at +15 V supply however, so if you only would have +5 V you might get less. You can always use the opamp's output to drive a transistor.
Don't use a dual supply, like +/- 15 V. If the output would go -15 V the negative voltage will destroy the LED or transistor.
The MC34072P appears to be at End of Life.
Two available options that are (nearly) equivalent include MC34072PG, and MC34072VPG, as well as MC33072PG.
You can see the results of my search here at this page on Mouser. On that page, you can broaden the parameters (i.e., remove some of the filters) to see more part options.
Method of searching for parts similar to any PartXYZ, for the future
Specs to look for in opamps: Gain, Bandwidth, Noise, Offset voltage/current/drift, Bias current, Output impedance, Slew rate, CMRR, Packaging, Price ... And so on; depends on what your application needs really.
If you're not tied to some super-special characteristic of the MC34072, I suggest you use the TL072. The TL071/TL072/TL074 series are very common and very widely used JFET-input OpAmps, and I think it's even safe to assume than Motorola (now OnSemi) introduced their MC34071/2/4 series OpAmps as a second source for TI's parts.
For most applications, both types will likely work as interchangeable drop-in replacement parts.
There's no trouble at all obtaining the TL07x parts.