PubliCon 2016:Publishing for Schools


FICCI organized the sixth edition of its annual conference in publishing programme, ‘PubliCon 2016: Publishing for Schools’ on December 2, 2016.

There is a need to continuously strive to improve the quality of content in books published for children. ‘PubliCon 2016: Publishing for Schools’, witnessed participation of school principals and school management representatives, textbook publishers, policymakers, other government aided and un-aided schools and technology players in the education domain.

Prof. Krishna Kumar, renowned educationalist, former professor, Department of Education, University of Delhi, and Former Director, NCERT, delivered the keynote address. He said that, textbooks in developed markets make children read other books, while textbooks in India confine our children to a specific syllabus. Prof. Kumar further said that private publishers need to improve the quality of books, since conforming to a particular syllabus do not indicate that all textbooks should be similar. He stated the NCERT textbooks cover about 15 per cent of the textbook market of the country and there is ample scope for private textbook publishers to play a significant role in the textbook publishing market in India.

A report jointly published by FICCI and Nielsen on the K-12 book market was also released at the programme. Speaking about the report Vikrant Mathur, director – South Asia, Nielsen India, said that the K-12 education system in India is one of the largest in the world, with more than 1.5 million schools and 259 million students enrolled. The report estimates that the Indian K-12 book market would grow at a CAGR of 19.6 per cent, from INR 221.7 billion in 2014-15 to INR 541.9 billion by 2019-20. Mathur highlighted the opportunities for school book publishing segment in India.

Urvashi Butalia, chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and director, Zubaan briefly highlighted the significance of the theme of the conference. Rohit Kumar, co- chair FICCI Publishing Committee and Advisor, RELX, said that the initiative, ‘Publishing for Schools’ taken by FICCI is relevant and well appreciated.

Other important dignitaries present at the programme were Atishi Marlena, adviser to deputy CM, Govt. of NCT of Delhi and Baldeo Bhai Sharma, chairman, National Book Trust, India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Atishi Marlena highlighted the role of the Government of NCT of Delhi in terms of education and the policies that the Delhi government has taken in the access of quality education across various sections of the society in the capital. While, Baldeo Bhai Sharma spoke about the role NBT is playing in initiating a culture of reading in the country. He also highlighted the role of mother tongue in the education of a child.

Yoko Mochizuki, head -curriculum team, MGIEP, UNESCO was also present at the programme and presented the role of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in bringing concepts of peace and sustainability into curriculum and textbooks across the globe.

The programme was divided into four broad segments, each having a focus on a particular aspect of school publishing. The first session focused on “Content for the Classroom”, where principals from different schools participated to share their perspectives on content and highlighted the role a teacher plays in passing knowledge from textbook to students. The session was chaired by Manisha Chaudhry, head – Content Development, Pratham Books. The other speakers of this session included Aditi Misra, principal, Delhi Public School, Gurgaon; Anuradha Sen, director -Academics & Training, Shiv Nadar Schools; Kaye Jacob, principal, Heritage School; and Sugat Jain, director (IT), Ratna Sagar Pvt. Ltd.

The session on “Technology Enabled Learning” was chaired by Vikas Gupta, managing director, Wiley India. Other speakers included Rajeev Pathak, founder and CEO, Funtoot; Basant Pandey, co-founder & CEO, Elpis Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd; and Raman Talwar, chief executive & founder director, Simulanis Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Two other sessions on “Copyright as Access to Knowledge” and “Textbook Publishing in India” were chaired by GR Raghavender, joint secretary, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, GoI and Subrahmanian Seshadri, managing partner & CEO, Overleaf Books LLP respectively. Speakers included Rohit Kumar, co-chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and advisor, RELX; N K Mehra, president, FIP and managing director, Narosa Publishing House Pvt Ltd; Shilpi Jha, senior legal counsel for intellectual property, USPTO; Jagdish Sagar, advocate, Delhi High Court; Monica Malhotra Khandari, senior director, MBD Group; Chitragupt Goswami, coordinator for English Text Books, Haryana SCERT; Bhavna Saxena, head – editorial, Vishv Books; and Naveen Gupta, managing partner, Arya Publishing Company.

The programme witnessed participation of over 120 delegates.

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