National Book Trust, India and FICCI organize a WEBINAR on Post-COVID Publishing Scenario on the occasion of WORLD BOOK & COPYRIGHT DAY on 23 April 2020
While wishing everyone on the World Book and Copyright Day, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Hon’ble Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India said that India is a superpower of knowledge. With its ancient universities, ancient knowledge and treasure trove of books, India is a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. Thanking the publishers and writers, Dr Nishank said that we all have to strive together to make India a proud knowledge economy of the world. Emphasizing on the need to promote reading in the country, he said that children should be encouraged to believe that books are their best friends.
He also added that the youth of India outnumber the total population of some of the western countries, and therefore it is important that the teachers, authors, publishers and educationists ensure that correct knowledge is disseminated to them, to create a New powerful India.
Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma, Chairman NBT spoke about the changing times from the oral tradition, to hand written parchments to printed words. He said now the time has come that society accepts e-learning as a method of knowledge dissemination. He also that as the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us and has changed the way we function, with students being taught over online classes, etc. the industry has come to a standstill. We publishers need to make sure that we keep imparting knowledge regardless through e-content for students and teachers, support the publishing Industry, and stick together to help each other during and post Covid times.
Shri Yuvraj Malik, in his special address said that ‘Change is the only constant in life’. Referring to the difficult times that the world at large and the publishing industry is facing these days, and it may well take a long time to get back, he said he must accept the demand of the hour, and as publishers it is our duty to disseminate information and knowledge to the society, it may well be through digital and e-publishing mediums. He added that what we create today will become an important historical document for tomorrow.
Talking about NBT’s initiatives during this period, Shri Malik informed the participants that realizing the extraordinary psychological, social, economic and cultural significance of Corona Pandemic for the human society in the times to come, NBT has planned the launch of a publishing series titled ‘Corona Studies Series’ to document and provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs. The material is being readied by a Study Group comprising experienced psychologists/counsellors. The first sub-series is on ‘Psycho-Social Impact of Corona Pandemic and the Ways to Cope’ in e-edition format.In addition, NBT is preparing children’s books on Our Corona Warriors, and other story and picture books related to various aspects of Corona to create awareness. Also, books focused on art, literature, folklore, economic and sociological aspects, science/health awareness emerging out of the Corona pandemic, and the lockdown, are also in the pipeline.
Earlier, Mr. Ratnesh Jha, Chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and CEO, Burlington Group (India & South East Asia) delivered the welcome address. Ms. Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Co-Chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and Managing Director, MBD Group, Mr Dilip Chinoy, Secretary General, FICCI and Mr. Neeraj Jain, Co-Chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and Managing Director, Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. discussed the various issues of Publishing Industry Post-Covid, Post-Corona reading needs, Digital Publishing/E Learning, and the Infrastructure available for Digital publishing/E-Learning.
Over 180 participants logged-in to join the webinar across India, which included Publishers, Authors, Editors, Teachers, Booksellers, Digital content Creators, and Publishing professionals from different areas.
The Webinar provided insights on the post-Covid scenario for the publishing Industry and probable shift in the publishing, teaching, learning methods, while understanding the ways in which the education will be re-looked into with the rising e-learning practices.