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Nurture creativity, innovation in children for nation's economic and spiritual development-NBT Chairman 

webindia123 , Aug 19, 2017

Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust (NBT), today underlined the importance of nurturing creativity and innovation in children at an early age for the economic and spiritual development of the nation.

There is a need to move beyond text books and inculcate in children the spirit of humanity and empathy towards society, he added.

Addressing FICCI's first-ever Children's Publishing Conclave 'Scrapbook', Mr. Sharma said that it is essential to gauge the creativity of children and not confine them just to curriculum. Supplementary books should teach children about the importance of being a good human and life lessons as it will help in overall development of their personality while strengthening their imaginative skills.

Alluding to NBT's efforts, Mr. Sharma said that 'The Veergatha' series had been introduced by NBT, which talks of the great acts of bravery by Indian soldiers. The first set of five books in English and Hindi in this series aims to instill a sense of inspiration and patriotism in children at an early age.

Children should not be over burdened with books. Therefore, referring to UNESCO, which promotes learning in mother tongue, especially at the early stage, he said that education should focus on expanding the knowledge horizon of a child and teaching in mother tongue should be encouraged.

In his special address, Dr. Hrushikesh Senapaty, Director, NCERT, said that there is a need to shift educational learning for children from content mastery to competency mastery, where competencies should be classified into character, intellectual and social. It is vital to make the classroom process vibrant where teachers would act as a facilitator providing children with an opportunity to develop and strengthen their competencies and communication ability. He added that the Indian education system is moving from knowledge construction to knowledge processing with the help of technology, enabling children to explore, innovate and create.

Appreciating FICCI's initiative, Dr. Senapaty said that the goal of the publishing conclave is to develop quality and innovative content for children, which would enable them to learn in a collaborative ecosystem. He added that Indian children have performed well when they follow the prescribed curriculum but to compete with children across the globe, they need to acquire understanding beyond books and build their applied knowledge.

In her theme address, Ms. Urvashi Butalia, Chair - FICCI Publishing Committee and Director, Zubaan, said that the conclave focused on policy advocacy to nurture collaboration between schools, government and children's publishers to enhance learning outcome in educational space; concerns related to children's content of schools; addressing gender misrepresentation in children's books; implementing theory of multiple intelligence on children content to enhance learning outcome and changing role of technology in children content and its impact on K-12 education besides promoting book reading amongst young children.

Dr. A. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that FICCI has instituted this platform to explore possible collaboration between various actors of the ecosystem including children content creators, publishers, offline and online service providers, technology disrupters, teachers, schools, parents, children, and policy makers. The conclave highlighted the important aspect of child's individual learning requirements, and the vital role publishers can play in addressing the same.

Ratnesh Jha, Co-Chair, FICCI Publishing Committee, and Mg Director, CUP, also shared his perspective on children's publishing.

On the sidelines of the conclave, interesting workshops for school children were organized, which were presided by eminent faculty members. These workshops ranged from creative writing to story-telling and were received well by the young learners.