Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the New Delhi World Book Fair at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi, today. Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India, Mr. Saleh bin Eid Al-Husseini; Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi; Secretary, Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Shri Sanjay K. Murthy; Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Shri Sanjay Kumar; Chairman, National Book Trust, Prof. Milind Sudhakar Marathe; Director, National Book Trust, Shri Yuvraj Malik, and other dignitaries were also present at the event.
Inaugurating the 52nd edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair Shri Pradhan highlighted that this year’s theme of the fair ‘Multilingual India: A Living Tradition’ is celebrating India’s linguistic diversity and global literary traditions. He also said that the fair is a harmonious amalgamation of literature, diverse cultures artistic expressions and knowledge. Multilingualism is the core of our diversity and therefore, language and books are assets to realise the goal of Viksit Bharat by 2047, as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Pradhan added.
He also emphasized the need to nurture a book-loving and book-reading society that fosters forward-looking ideas for building a progressive social order as the country marches to realise the goal of Viksit Bharat.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Mr. Saleh bin Eid Al-Husseini stressed the mutual commitment to deepen ties between the countries. He drew similarities between India’s Amrit Kaal and the 2030 vision of Saudi Arabia as there is a shared commitment to a better future.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched the app of the National Digital Libraries for All, announced in the Budget 2023-34. National e-library ( राष्ट्रीय e-पुस्तकालय) is a first-of-its-kind digital library for accessing a variety of non-academic books for Children and Adolescents based on the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision statement, “When citizens read, the country leads.”
The राष्ट्रीय e-पुस्तकालय shall promote and foster a love for life-long reading habit among students and provide diverse literature options including various genres such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies etc., which will cater to different reading preferences and help students explore diverse types of literature in the language of their own choice. It will also, encourage critical thinking and imagination, which can help students develop & enhance their creativity and analytical skills and support literacy and language development among children and adolescents by engaging with books beyond their academic curricula. It will provide exposure to literature of Indian languages and foreign languages and create and foster cultural awareness, patriotism and empathy with an intent to realise Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
The राष्ट्रीय e-पुस्तकालय for Children and Adolescents shall provide accessibility in a device agnostic manner to age appropriate reading material for 4 different age groups – 3-8 years, 8-11 years, 11-14 years, and 14-18 years. Books in the राष्ट्रीय e-पुस्तकालय will focus on the history, culture, scientific and other achievements of India to develop a sense of pride amongst young Indiansand shall contain books from all the 23 (twenty-three) languages under the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, apart from English. As of now, more than 30 reputed publishers have been onboarded and more than 1000 books have been uploaded on the platform.
Shri Pradhan also unveiled the innovative learning E-learning platform, ‘E-Jaadui Pitara’, which is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, comprising puzzles, riddles, and stories. The inclusive and informative content, translated into 22 languages using Artificial Intelligence (AI) aims to transform early childhood education.
The Minister also released Special Modules aligned with NEP 2020, teaching-learning resources and subject-specific modules. Resources promoting G20 initiatives, Viksit Bharat and Nari Shakti Vandan were also released by the Minister, which highlight India’s commitment to social development and empowerment.
Shri Pradhan also released the “Igniting Collective Goodness Mann ki Baat @100” anthology, comprising 100 episodes of the radio show, and published by NBT-India in 12 languages. He also released four new titles under the “Creating Intellectual Heritage” project, published by NBT-India.
Shri Pradhan also released the Hindi and English Braille editions of the book Exam Warriors penned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and published by NBT-India.
The inaugural session was followed by a tour of the book fair, with the inauguration of the Theme Pavilion, a Photo Exhibition on the Journey of the History of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh, and the Guest Country Pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Themed around ‘Multilingual India: A Living Tradition (Bahubhashi Bharat: Ek Jeevant Parampara)’, the New Delhi World Book Fair 2024 celebrates the mosaic of languages weaved into the cultural fabric of the nation. As per tradition, with a country as the Guest of Honour at NDWBF – this year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the esteemed Guest Country, fostering cultural exchange, literary discourses, and dialogues between the two nations. NDWBF 2024 will be open from 10-18 February 2024 at Halls 1 to 5, Pragati Maidan from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm. Entry is FREE for children in school uniform, for senior citizens, and for differently-abled. Tickets are available online at ITPO’s website and at select Metro Stations.