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Balance must be struck between print, online readership: Min 

Business Standard , Jan 09, 2017

The relevance of books will never diminish, even in the digital era, and a balance must be struck between the print and online domains, Union Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey today said.

Addressing a gathering of captains and senior executives of leading publishers from the country and abroad at a function here, Pandey also exhorted the Indian publishers to patronise regional languages.

"Online age is important and, and it has brought in a lot of transparency and access to people. Our Prime Minister, himself has been promoting 'digital India'. But, we must know that the relevance of books would never diminish, nonetheless.

"Our history harks back to the age of Vedas, and ancient text written on 'bhojpatras' (old manuscripts). And, so, while we must move ahead in the digital era, care must be taken to strike a balance between the two domains (print and digital)," he said.

On the occasion of the New Delhi World Book Fair, FICCI and National Book Trust (NBT) organised the 5th edition of 'CEOSpeak over Chairman's Breakfast', which was attended by representatives from Sharjah Book Authority and the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, among others.

The theme of the event this year is 'The Idea and Business of Creating Culture of Reading: Experience & Challenges Across Societies'.

"While English is a good international language for communication, publishers here must also patronise our regional languages. India is a land of linguistic diversity and many of our languages have their own scripts as well. So, work in regional languages must be promoted as well," Pandey added.

"An economist has said that in last 15 years, online readership has gone up significantly. But, people's appetite for reading in print has not abated either," he said.

Secretary General of FICCI, A Didar Singh said, "FICCI aims to works towards advocacy for the National Book Promotion Policy of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development."

"Work is also being done for Google Centre for Indian Languages," he said.