Publishing News [National]

After the runaway success of his novel, Wings of Freedom, which was a period cross-cultural love story in the backdrop of British-Ruled India, author Ratan Kaul once again penned down human emotions very beautifully in his new romance fiction – The Full Circle: A Saga of Unrequited Love.

The book is a periscopic view of the last forty years and how speedily the world noticed a vast array of socio-economic changes. While briefing about the book, Ratan Kaul said, “This book portrays the complexities of life’s challenges, destiny, human convictions and emotions in the backdrop of today’s fast-paced world. Every change in the life of the lead character’s life, partly in India and partly in the USA, is like the rotations of a wheel, for good or for bad, but it is not in his hands as someone else governs the circling of his fate.”

The Third edition of the India Public Libraries Conference organised by the Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM) and hosted by NASSCOM Foundation will run from October 3-5, 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), Government of India, will inaugurate the conference. Conference would witness participation of about 400 plus public library stakeholders, including library practitioners, library professionals, policy makers, planners, corporate, civil society as well as distinguished speakers from India and abroad along with students of Library and Information Sciences.

Indian Public Library Movement is a multi-stakeholder initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Library Initiative, working towards the transformation of public libraries into vibrant and inclusive knowledge institutions. Its annual event, Indian Public Library Conference is a platform to engage public library stakeholders across sectors in India and abroad to discuss challenges, opportunities and innovations in the public library domain.

Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “Indian Public Library Movement is an initiative close to our hearts. The idea is to create thought-provoking discussion on the situation of the Public Libraries in India and positively impact these spaces through the knowledge of ground realities and innovation. Public Library is a repository and source of and has the potential to ensure that every Indian without discrimination has easy access to the knowledge they seek.”

Among detailed discussions at the conference will be a panel on Public Library: Potential and Possibilities, understanding the work done globally to develop a unified library system and the potential that public libraries as an institution present in transforming lives of the communities. Another session titled Current Status of Public Library Financing India, will present a case for the enhancement of funding for public libraries so that they become new age knowledge institutions. The session titled Public Libraries as Agents for delivering Government Services will discuss the potential of public libraries in ensuring reach of government services and programs to the marginalized, thereby helping the country to realize the vision of inclusion and equity. In an exclusive session, Policy Makers speak about the initiatives needed at the policy level to transform these institutions.

The conference will also witness workshops and capacity building for library practitioners on a variety of issues pertinent to the revitalization of public library space.

India took a major leap today in documenting and preserving its language diversity with the People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) launching the volumes on languages spoken across 10 states in India including Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka. These volumes have been published by Orient BlackSwan. The ceremony was held at New Delhi which saw the launch of 26 books/volumes. These were launched by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in presence of several dignitaries, intellectuals, historians and academicians like Kapila Vatsayan, Asis Nandi, Ashok Vajpayee, Major General (Retd) LK Gupta, chairman, INTACH. PLSI, an initiative of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Vadodara, will eventually bring out 60 such volumes by the end of 2018 to be published by Orient Blackswan. These volumes will be published both in Hindi and English. Some volumes will also be published in regional languages of India.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, stressed the fundamental importance of languages to human society, saying that, “Innovative research related to languages” needs to be encouraged. Dr. Singh appreciated Bhasha Research and Publication Centre for making efforts to preserve the Indian languages. Dr GN Devy, general editor and chairperson, PLSI said that, “The central idea of this survey is to document and preserve 780 languages which are being spoken in India today. Today is the day of celebration of language diversity for the country and we will ensure that these languages survive the test of time and place.”

Dr Ganesh Devy also announced the next big project “Global Languages Survey” under which over 6000 languages being spoken in the world will be surveyed and documented. Talking about the project Devy said, “India will be only country in the world with such a big repository of world languages. Global Language Survey Report aims to ensure that no language ever slips into oblivion. We aim to complete the entire exercise by 2022.”

Along with this, the event also saw the launch of “Dakashinayana Indian Thought” (DIT) series which is an attempt to bring together discursive literature available in Indian languages and democratic culture. These are compiled by collective of thinkers and scholars from different parts of the country.

Three Leaves Books International, a unit of Lajwanti Group, is a celebrated publisher and distributor of children’s school and reference books full of fun and knowledge. Getting constant accreditations and awards for their excellence in publication of widely acclaimed academic titles, the company has recently been honoured with five prestigious awards including the First Prize for Best Production 2016 from The Federation of Indian Publishers during the Delhi Book Fair 2016. Moreover, they also bagged four awards at the Beijing International Book Fair 2016 and seven at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2016 in Singapore.

Headquartered in Delhi, the company is run under the aegis of four prolific directors—Yash Chhabra, Rita Chhabra, Lakshya Chhabra and Kanika Chhabra—who take up diverse roles in bringing up the publishing firm to a global level. Over the years, Three Leaves has been a regular participant in every leading book fair at both domestic and international levels—latest being their landmark presence in the Sharjah International Book Fair 2016 in UAE. Kanika is at the helm when it comes to the company’s successful participation in the reputed book fairs in India and abroad. Highly commended academic books from this internationally reputed publisher are for Nursery to Class X students.

Without Prejudice: Epic Tale of a Mumbai Bar Dancer, written by Devasis and published by Niyogi Books was officially launched at Mumbai. A novel on the life sketch of a fictional Mumbai Bar Dancer, the book delves deep into the roots of their evolution as dancers and attempts to answer how the sudden decision of closure of the dance bars ran the danger of depriving a section of the populace of a dignified (albeit not being seen so by some sections of society) way of earning their living.

The book was launched in the presence of Alyque Padamsee (theatre personality & advertising professional), Kiran Khalap (brand consultant, author and advertising professional) & Varsha Kale (women leader & activist). The session was moderated by Manasi Sontakke.

Alyque Padamsee noted that the book throws light on the dance bars which the society pervades as vulgar, dirty and cheap, though it is not and also that it is right time for the society to break such shackles of prejudice against a few.

Activist Varsha Kale added that it is the right of women to earn her livelihood if it necessarily means to flaunt her body. Ultimately it is the person's choices which matters rather than the society dictating terms.

Kiran Khalap and the author, Devasis discussed about the book in detail and gave a structure to the whole discussion about the dance-bar industry.

Trisha De Niyogi, the publisher, said "Without Prejudice is the fine line between fiction and nonfiction. What starts out as a story of a young girl beautifully unwraps or rather blossoms into a story of the bigger scheme of things, a much bigger cause: women empowerment."