New Delhi World Book Fair 2019: A report

The 27th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair was successfully held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from January 5-13, 2019. Here are a few glimpses of this book fair.


While inaugurating the New Delhi World Book Fair 2019, Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Human Resource Development, said, ”The world of books is unique. Books have their own fragrance and to appreciate it, we need to read books,”. He added that reading is part of culture of India and the desire to read books has never been less.”With growing presence of Kindle and audio books,” Javadekar remarked, “the number of people who read printed books, has not diminished and the number is increasing day by day.”

Welcoming the guests, Prof. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, NBT said that although technology has become an integral part of our life, but printed books are very close to the hearts of the Indian readers. The number of people visiting the book fair, shows that books still attract readers. He also talked about the diverse nature of publishing programme of National Book Trust, India.

During the inaugural function, NBT Calendar 2019 based on the theme ‘Readers with Special Needs’, the Hindi and English editions of the book Bibi Fatima and Her Sons, authored by H H Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and published by NBT, and catalogue of Braille books published by NBT were also released.

Theme pavilion

This year, the theme of the Fair was ‘Books for Readers with Special Needs’, which brought to light the life and struggles, the trials and triumphs, joy and despair of a very significant part of human society who are called differently-abled or the Divyangjan. The theme focused on the reading needs of the Readers with Special Needs. The idea was to project the aspirations as well as the achievements of this special community in order to develop a better understanding about them among the people at large.

The specially designed Pavilion was disabled-friendly with steel railings and wheel chairs. Sign language interpreters were also there for visitors at the Pavilion. An exclusive exhibition of 500 books including Braille books, audio books, silent books, tactile books, integrated print-braille books, books for differently-abled, children with sight or ear impairment, autistic kids, children/readers with ADHD, behavioural/psychological problems/anxieties was one of the major highlights of the Theme Pavilion.

A specially designed Experience Accessibility Booth by Microsoft was the centre of attraction at the Pavilion. Divided into four parts, the booth provided a glimpse of various software which are available for visually impaired, hearing impaired, readers with ADHD and mobility disorders.

Guest of Honour

Sharjah was the Guest of Honour at the Fair. “As a member of Executive Council of Emirate of Sharjah, the body which translates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, I am honoured to be here today to celebrate another significant milestone. We are all here today at New Delhi World Book Fair, a major calendar event in the cultural and publishing world,” said H.E. Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Qasimi at the inaugural event.

On being the Guest of Honour at the Fair, Fahim said, “We are excited today to turn this opportunity into a memorable missionary and cultural event, straight from the heart of Sharjah and UAE for all the book fair participants and visitors.” He added that book fairs are essential platforms that allow us to share our intellectual property and to learn from both cultures and strengthening relations.

He said that India is UAE’s long standing partners and continue to do that on economic, scientific, educational and cultural front. He remarked that occasions such as these are necessary to foster stronger relations.

New Delhi Rights Table

New Delhi Rights Table was organised on January 7-8, 2019. The two-day event provided a platform to publishers, literary agents, translators, authors and editors from India and abroad for business opportunities. During the event, the publishers interacted with each other, shared their interests, negotiated and discussed about selling/buying copyrights. This year, there were more than 60 publishers from India and abroad including China, Egypt, France, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UAE and USA.


The signature event organised on the sidelines of New Delhi World Book Fair, CEOSPEAK OVER CHAIRMAN’S BREAKFAST, by National Book Trust, India in association with FICCI, hosted the first-ever an India-Emirati Publishing Forum at the Hotel Ashoka in conjunction with the Guest of Honour Presentation of Sharjah at the Fair. H.E. Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, Sharjah was present on the occasion as a Distinguished Guest. Welcoming a 125+ strong congregation of CEOs, MDs, Senior Publishing Professionals of India, Emirates, and also from China, France, Poland, Sri Lanka etc, Baldeo Bhai Sharma, said that Indian’s relations with the UAE were age-old and through the New Delhi World Book Fair, NBT, India was striving to strengthen these bonds.

Giving his key-note address, Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman, Sharjah Book Authority, invited Indian publishers to take advantage of the low logistical costs offered by Sharjah Publishing City. Ali Al Shaali, Vice President, Emirates Publishers Association & CEO Alhudhud Publishing House, said that with its focus on publishing, Sharjah has emerged as a leading city in realising the UAE’s vision of becoming a global hub for the creative industries. Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, said that India was the second-largest English language print book publisher in the world. Making a presentation on Indian publishing scene, Vikrant Mathur, Director India & Asia Pacific Nielsen Book, said that the total trade market in India was worth INR 24.0 billion and growing at a CAGR of 8.5%.

In the second session, a panel discussion on ‘India-Emirati Co-operation in Publishing’ was held. Moderated by Ratnesh Jha, MD, Cambridge University Press, the participants included Sayoni Basu, Atiya Zaidi, and Ravi Dee Cee from India; and Ali Al Shaali, and Tamer Al Sayed, MD, Kalimat Publishing from the Emirates. The engaging panel discussion was followed by a question-answer sessions. On behalf of NBT, Kumar Vikram, Editor & Project In-charge made closing remarks at the Forum which was anchored by Sumit Gupta, Senior Director, FICCI.

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