Thanthai Periyar E.V. Ramasamy, a great revolutionary founded The Periyar Self-Respect Propaganda Institution (PSRPI) in 1952. The PSRPI serves to secure, socio-economic equality to the suppressed and the downtrodden through Social Justice, emancipation of women, eradication of all sorts of birth based discrimination, annihilation of superstitious rites and rituals perpetuated in the name of religion, god and caste. Its mission right from 1952 is to make people develop the scientific temper, spirit of inquiry, humanism and reform as adumbrated in Article51-A(h) of the Constitution of India. The PSRPI has been publishing continuously the books of Thanthai Periyar E.V.Ramasamy, Annai E.V.R.Maniammaiyar, Asiriyar K. Veeramani, Arignar C.N.Annadurai and Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi and other books on rationalist ideals and progressive thinking.
Established in 1957, the National Book Trust, India, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India is a highly professional multilingual publishing house working towards the promotion of books and developing reading habit among the masses.
Publishing forms a major activity of the Trust. It publishes a wide variety of reasonably priced quality books ranging from works of fiction to books on Medical Sciences and cutting edge technology for all segments of the society and for all age groups, including a wide variety of illustrated books for children. Over the years, the Trust’s determined efforts in developing a strong and inclusive policy towards publishing is also apparent in the variety of books published for visually handicapped and the neo-literates.
The Trust publishes books in 18 major Indian languages, which includes Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Manipuri, Maithili, Marathi, Nepali, Odiya, Punjabi, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. In addition to this, the Trust has also published books in Bhojpuri, Himachali, Kokborok, Khasi, Garo, Lepcha, Bhutia, Mising Limboo, Mizo, Newari, Bodo, among others.
During the period under review 2314 titles were published by the Trust. These included 148 originals, 168 translations, 1996 reprints and 2 revised edition. Besides, 240 Braille editions were published in Hindi, English, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Gujarati.
Over the years, the Trust’s publications have earned a distinctive name both for their content and quality of production. This is reflected in the number of awards and distinctions, which the Trust receives from time to time. This year too, two of its publications were awarded the best in their respective categories at an Award Ceremony for Best Publications organised by the Federation of Indian Publishers at Pragati Maidan. These included Learning Science – III in Hindi (Second prize in College Textbooks category) and Catalogue: Golden Jubilee Anthologies (Second prize in Price List, Catalogue & Brochure category).
The Trust organises book fairs/exhibitions throughout the country at regional, national and international levels. NBT has so far organised 19 World Book Fairs, 38 National Book Fairs and around 220 Regional Books Fairs.
During the period from April 2010 to March 2011, the Trust organised Amritsar Book Fair (3-11 April 2010); Solan Book Fair (8-16 May 2010); Mysore Book Fair (29 May to 6 June 2010); Indore Book Fair (18-26 September 2010); Bilaspur Book Fair (25 September-3 October 2010); National Children’s Book & Activity Fair (14-20 November 2010); Khammam Book Fair (14-21 November 2010); Rajkot Book Fair (1-9 January 2011); Bathinda Book Fair (1- January 2011); 36th National Book Fair, Ranchi (15-23 January 2011); Digboi Book Festival (22-30 January 2011); 37th National Book Fair, Lucknow (5-13 February 2011); Sivasagar Book Festival (6-14 February 2011), Itanagar Book Festival (19-27 February 2011); Cuttack Book Fair (5-13 March 2011); Dimapur Book Fair (14-20 March 2011); Ambassa Book Festival (14-20 March 2011); 38th National Book Fair, Patna (21-29 March 2011) and Delhi Weekend Book Bazaar (25-27 March 2011).
The Trust also stepped-up its book promotional activities in the North-east through a number of book fairs, literary activities and special sales drive. During the year under review the Trust organized 5 book fairs and participated actively in 7 book fairs held in the region. Besides, the Trust also organised special exhibits of the Trust’s publications at various colleges and universities in the region. Among the significant literary events organised during the period include quiz and sit & draw competitions, meet-the-author programmes, seminar on Children’s Literature and Reading Habit at Aizawland discussions on Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, Essential Elements in the Literature of the North-East at Itanagar.
In order to promote Indian publishing abroad, the Trust participates in various International books fairs by displaying a cross section of representative Indian publications brought out by various Indian publishers. Since 1970, the Trust has participated in about 317 International book fairs. During the period under review the Trust participated in 7 such International Book Fairs, including the prestigious 14th Nepal Education & Book Fair (6-14 August 2010); Beijing International Book Fair (30 August-3 September 2010); Sharjah International Book Fair (26 October-6 November 2010); Dhaka International Book Fair (1-16 December 2010) Cairo International Book Fair (26 January-6 February 2011); Jerusalem International Book Fair (20-25 February 2011); and Bologna Children’s Book Fair (28-31 March 2011).
One of the significant international events, which the Trust organised, was the Presentation of India as the Country of Honour at the Beijing International Book Fair, held during 30 August to 3 September 2010 in Beijing. The presentation included a special exhibit of over 3500 titles published by more than 26 publishers, as well as panel discussions and cultural programmes. The special exhibit included books on Buddhism, books on and by Rabindranath Tagore, and books on and by Jawaharlal Nehru. In all, nearly 100 member, strong delegation from India comprising some of the major publishers, eminent creative writers from different Indian languages, authors, editors, publishing professionals etc participated in the special presentation by India at BIBF.
The Trust has been trying to make the books available to the people at their doorsteps through mobile exhibitions. So far it has organised more than 11,000 mobile exhibitions throughout the country including the North-eastern states. During the period under report, the Trust organised mobile book exhibitions at about 1662 places in and around Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Rajasthan, Goa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Tripura.
The Trust provides assistance to authors and publishers for the publication of reasonably priced university level text and reference books and for books on Medical Science under its Subsidy Scheme. During the year under review, one title was published under this scheme.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development had entrusted the scheme of Financial Assistance to Voluntary/Private organisations for organising Seminars/Training Courses/Workshops/Annual Conventions/Book Fairs related to the Book Promotional Activities to the Trust. A number of organisations had applied for financial assistance for organising various Book Promotional Activities. Grants were released to 226 organisations during 2010-11 by the Trust to meet 75% of the approved expenditure of such Book Fairs, Seminars, etc.
The Trust organises several book-related activities for the development of the publishing industry of the country. It organises workshops and seminars for those involved in the development, production and distribution of books. It also organises author’s meet and other literary activities such as book release functions from time to time. During the period under review, around 50 such activities were organised by the Trust.
The Trust also has a National Centre for Children’s Literature (NCCL), which is the nodal agency to monitor, coordinate, plan and aid the publication of Children’s Literature in various Indian languages. The NCCL has developed a library-cum-documentation centre of children’s literature. It organises workshops, seminars and exhibitions to develop the children’s literature of the country. With a view to promote and develop the reading habit of the children at the school level, the NCCL encourages setting up of Reader’s Clubs at the schools throughout the country and also conducts surveys and takes up research work relating to Children’s Literature. So far, over 35,000 Readers Clubs have been set up across the country. During the period under review, the NCCL established over 1100 Readers Clubs, besides organising Meet-the-Author programmes, story telling sessions, workshops seminars Readers Club Orientation programmes and other children’s activities in various parts of the country. In addition, 12 monthly issues of Readers’ Club Bulletin, a bilingual magazine for promotion of reading habit among children were also brought out.
Besides the Northern Regional Office at its headquarters, the Trust also has three Regional Offices at Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata. The regional offices are primarily responsible for the marketing and sales of NBT publications. The regional offices also participate in various book fairs organised both by the Trust and other agencies throughout the country. The regional offices also organise NBT book Exhibitions at various places in their respective regions. The regional offices are also responsible for enlisting distributors and agents for the sale of NBT publications. During the period under report, 139 new agents/distributors were enrolled. It also enrolled 3,299 new Book Club members. The Trust also has a book counter each at the HQs, Vasant Kunj, CCIC, Janpath, Darayaganj in New Delhi and at regional offices.
Every year during the National Book Week from 14-20 November, the Trust organises a number of Book promotional activities throughout the country to promote book mindedness among the masses. This year too, a weeklong programme for children was held at the amphitheatre of Nehru Bhawan, NBT. Based on the theme, My Children My Literature, the Festival saw participation of a large number of children from various schools and NGOs in and around Delhi. During the Week, children interacted with well known children’s authors like Shri Gagan Chandra Adhikari, Smt Surekha Panandiker and Shri Prakash Manu and gave dramatic performances based on stories by renowned authors like Rabindra Nath Tagore and Ruskin Bond. Besides, a number of book promotional activities, which included seminars, book review sessions, meet the author programmes, poet’s meet and book release functions were held all over the country.
The Trust also organises short term Training Courses in Book Publishing in various parts of the country with the objective to create a talent pool of trained professionals for the publishing industry. While a four-week Training Course in Book Publishing at Delhi has become an annual feature, it also conducts short-term training courses of one-to-two week duration in other parts of the country. During the period under report, four short-term publishing courses were held in Agartala, Pune, Silchar and Vijayawada.