The Federation of Indian Publishers, in collaboration with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), a premier trade promotion agency of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, organized the 20th Delhi Book Fair from 23-31 August 2014 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The Fair was inaugurated on 23 August 2014 by lighting of the lamp and ribbon cutting ceremony in the presence of Ms. V. Meera, General Manager, ITPO, Dr. Ashok Gupta, President, FIP, Shri Sudhir Malhotra, past President, FIP, Ms. Meenakshi Singh, OSD, ITPO

More than 300 publishers in about 550 stalls, representing different parts of India, including Agartala, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, etc., participated in the Delhi Book Fair. The overseas participants were from China, UK and USA. This year, the Fair spread across the Hall No.8-12A. 50% subsidy was provided to regional language publishers to attract them to participate in the Fair.

The theme of this year’s Delhi Book Fair was Literature in Cinema which focussed on the impact of Literature on the Indian Society through the medium of cinema. A special Theme Pavilion had been set up where write-ups and photographs of important film and film personalities were prominently displayed. More than 100 titles published by various publishers were also displayed in the Theme Pavilion to make it attractive for the visitors.

FIP organized two Painting Competitions for school children in which more than 400 students participated – First Painting Competition was organized on 27 August 2014 exclusive for East Delhi Municipal
Corporation School for students of Class III, IV and V. The second Painting Competition was organized on 30 August 2014 – open for all children under the age group of 5-10 and 10-16. On the first competition, Shri Mahesh Giri, Hon’ble M.P. from East Delhi awarded the winning candidates with cash rewards of Rs.1,000/- to candidates who were adjudged first, Rs.750/- and Rs.500/- who were placed in second and third place respectively. In addition, Shri Giri gave away 9 consolation prizes. Similarly, Shri Parvesh Sahib Singh, Member of Parliament from West Delhi, gave away prizes to candidates who participated in painting competition held on 30 August 2014. Both the Painting Competitions were appreciated by parents and children and were a grand success.

To make the event more meaningful, a number of conferences, seminars, book releases, book launches, meet the author get-togethers arranged by leading publishers and a host of cultural activities were also organized. The Theme Pavilion and children’s activities proved to be a major attraction during the Fair. Dozen of buses of school children of various schools, even from outside Delhi, accompanied by their teachers were coming to the Fair every day. Federation had arranged 10 Air-conditioned mini buses which plied within Pragati Maidan from different gates of ITPO ferrying visitors to the Fair Grounds. Some of the important events organized were: a Panel Discussion followed by Kavi Sammelan by the Authors Guild of India; ‘Pustakon se Manch Par Sant’ by the Bachpan Society; Hindi Baal Patnikon ka Paridrishya by Publication Division. A Workshop relating to Library Science by Ranganathan Research Circle; National Conference on Possibilities and Challenges for the inclusion of children with special needs by S.R. Publishers; Panel Discussion on Children Literature for environment protection and sustainable development by TERI, Interactive Discussion on Intellectual Property jointly hosted by United States and India Educational Foundation (US/EF) organized by American Embassy; Kavita ke Sath ek Poetic Evening by Indian Society for Authors and Writing Activity for University students under the banner of Young Expression by Lekhika Sangh. A number of book launches and book release function were organized by different publishers during the Fair. FIP organized the 34th Competition for Awards for Excellence in Book Production in respect of publications produced in India during 2013-14. We had received 1100 books from 78 publishers from all over India including language publishers and Jury selected 91 titles from 45 publishers for Awards. Out of these 27 titles had been selected for First prize, 35 titles for second prize and 29 titles for Certificate of Merits. Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) gave away the prizes at a solemn ceremony held on 29 August 2014.

The Fair drew a big response from visitors, book lovers, booksellers, buyers, academicians and foreign visitors/tourists having visited the Fair not only from Delhi-NCR but also from neighbouring States. A large number of youth and children from different schools regularly visited the Fair. There was a huge demand for children, reference, religious and philosophical books. For the first time, ITPO had taken two new initiatives – (i) Online ticketing and (ii) Book Fair App. Both these new initiatives were quite successful with the book lovers helping them easy and hassle free entry to Fair Grounds and easy navigation in locating the publishers and their stalls. The Fair was extensively covered both by the print and electronic media, with most of the TV channels carrying the news of the Book Fair regularly.

Awards in the form of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for best stalls in three categories i.e. English, Hindi and regional languages as well as in the stationery segment, were given at a valedictory function held on the last day of the Fair by ITPO. NBT (an autonomous organization under the Ministry of HRD) had sanctioned an amount of Rs.15 lakhs as grant-in-aid for organizing the Delhi Book Fair 2014 and other book promotional activities and subsidy to regional/Hindi language publishers for their participation in the Fair. FIP is thankful to NBT and Ministry of Human Resource Development for providing grant.