25.04.2014 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

UNESCO joins hands with UNIC and DLA to celebrate the World Book and Copyright Day

This year, to mark the World Book and Copyright Day, UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Information Centre for India & Bhutan (UNIC), and the Delhi Library Association (DLA) organized a Round-Table Discussion on “The Turning Page: Print, Online, Copyright Issues” on 23 April 2014 at UN Conference Hall, 55 Lodi Estate, New Delhi. 

On the occasion, Mr Ashok Vajpeyi, eminent Hindi poet, essayist and literary-cultural critic was the Chief Guest who in his very inspiring address spoke at length about his experiences as an author, his unrelenting love for books and his passion for reading.  The Keynote address was given by Dr R K Chadha, Additional Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, who highlighted the importance of the role played by the publishers and distributors, as also the government in the promotion of books and reading, towards the larger goal of promoting literacy and knowledge sharing.  

Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative in his introductory remarks presented the significance of celebrating the day and on behalf of UNESCO invited everyone to rally round books as they are embodiment of human creativity and the desire to share ideas and knowledge to inspire understanding and tolerance.  He said “the theme of the Panel Discussion - The Turning Page: Print, Online, Copyright Issues,  is very pertinent and relevant today,  as the future of books and copyright is a question that concerns us all. It is not something that just can be left to specialists, political and economic decision-makers, authors, publishers and educators. It concerns all those who dream of a world in which knowledge is shared and the values of tolerance, solidarity and dialogue can flourish.”  

The panel discussion which was chaired Prof. P.B. Mangla, Former Head, DLIS, University of Delhi covered issues concerning the new evolving roles of all stakeholders namely, authors, readers, publishers, and information specialists in the new era of digitization.  Discussions were also held on the traditional concept of copyright which today has given place to a more complex meaning to it to cope up with the new technologies being used for publishing.  The esteemed panelists included: Mr Pavan Choudary, CEO, Author and TV Host; Mr M.A. Sikandar, Director, National Book Trust; Dr H.K. Kaul, Director, DELNET; Mr Sudhir Malhotra, Former President, The Federation of Indian Publishers; and  Prof. Sunita Tripathy, Assistant Director, Jindal Global Law School.

The discussion was primarily attended by librarians, researchers, communication and information officers working in ministries, research organizations, college and universities, NGOs and UN depository libraries. The discussion provided them with an overview of the importance of this day and on how to promote a vibrant book culture, including dealing with issues related to cyber space copyright and at the same time would help them in evolving a systematic approach for addressing print, online, copyright issues.

Since 1996, UNESCO has been mobilizing a number of partners contributing to the success of the World Book and Copyright Day which has grown as more and more countries have participated, currently about one hundred from all over the world, plus an ever growing public, with increasing numbers of young people taking part in the initiative.   UNESCO encourages governments to adopt measures which promote creativity and increase the production of national literary, scientific and musical works.  The first step in this direction is to help them prepare legislation and appropriate enactment policies, and encourage them to adhere to the various international conventions on the protection of copyright.

Books are a fundamental means of access to knowledge of values, wisdom, aesthetic sense and human imagination. They have been the most powerful factor in the dissemination of knowledge and the most effective means of preserving it.  As a window on the diversity of cultures and a bridge between civilizations, beyond time and space, books are a source of dialogue, a means of exchange and a source of development.

Related Links

World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 

International Days, Years and Decades

For further information contact:

Ms Rekha Beri, Documentalist and Public Information, UNESCO 

Dr R. K. Sharma, Librarian, UNIC

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