World Book Fair to focus on writings from northeast
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 13
Emerging literary voices from the northeast is the theme of the New Delhi World Book Fair, which begins here on February 14 with Singapore being the guest country and South Korea the focus country.
A total of 30 countries are participating in the fair, which began in 1972 and is now considered “a major international event in Asia”.
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani is scheduled to inaugurate the nine-day fair organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) in association with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan.“It is a celebration of books. Our aim is to let people reach the books and feel the books,” A Sethumadhavan, Chairman, NBT said today.
Eminent Hindi writer Narendra Kohli will be the guest of honour for the Fair themed on “Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from Northeast India” which is expected to see discussions, workshops and interactive sessions with authors and illustrators.
The NBT will focus on a rich corpus of writings from the northeastern region, the land and its people. The theme pavilion would also host a series of panel discussions on various aspects of writings, films and history of the region.
“We have been trying to focus on cultural milieu of the northeast and several programmes focusing on northeast willalso be organised,” Sethumadhavan said.
In collaboration with FCCI are two events CEOSpeak, a brainstorming session on February 15 on the problems faced by Indian publishing industry, and ‘Rights Table’ on February 16-17, in which 80 participants from India and 27 countries including Bangladesh, Taiwan, Tehran, the US among others will participate.
Also on the cards is a visit by cricketer Virender Sehwag who is slated to interact with visitors at the fair and encourage them to connect with books.
“Our endeavour is to make the Book Fair more interactive. Our primary idea for organising book fairs is to promote reading habit especially among young adults,” M A Sikandar, Director of NBT, said.
Singapore has lined up various literary programmes at ‘Events Corner’ themed on “Diverse Culture Distinct Literature.” Over 10 countries have programmes in the events corner.
“This World Book Fair is important for us as it addresses the main issue – the Asian problem. We do not read about each other as our books are not available and are in different languages,” R Ramachandran, Executive Director, National Book Development Council of Singapore, said.
UGC officials said 10,000 fellowships have been introduced for students of northeast states and that can be availed for study anywhere in India. UGC has also taken a decision to institute a chair in different universities in the region.
Rijiju expressed concern that recruitment of NER people in Delhi Police had not really taken off. Delhi Police officers explained that the rigorous physical and educational qualifications have become a hurdle and a review is underway to relax the criteria for northeast-origin people.
Sports Ministry officials said about Rs 100 crore has already been allocated for upgrading sports facilities in Imphal and another Rs 25 crore will be provided by March.
The draft bill for setting up a National Sports University is ready while the Manipur government has already acquired bulk of land at Thoubal district and the university is likely to start admissions for the next academic session, 2015-16.
Rijiju directed that a short compendium of all initiatives undertaken by various ministries be compiled soon and circulated to all northeast state governments and the media for wider publicity so that more and more people can be apprised of the various welfare schemes to avail of the benefits.
Senior officers of the Union ministries of HRD, Culture, I&B and Sports & Youth Affairs, besides Delhi Police and Resident Commissioners of northeastern States participated in the meeting.