In line with guidelines issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) amid rising Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Education (MoE) may cancel the annual nine-day New Delhi World Book Fair, which should start from January 8th. Book Trust (NBT) – the main organizer of the 30th edition of the fair, however, sent a report to the central government regarding the possibilities of the fair, which included its postponement to April 2021.
A senior MoE official said that noting the sudden increase in cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the ministry may decide to postpone the book fair.
“Although the DDMA, in its notice, has prohibited the organization of only business-to-business events, it will not be a wise decision to organize this show – a business-to-business event – for security reasons because thousands of people come to this event every year. The official order in this regard will be issued as soon as the options of postponing the event to April this year or holding it according to the calendar in virtual mode are under consideration, “he said. he said on condition of anonymity.
Contacted, Govind Prasad Sharma, the Chairman of NBT, also said that he informed the Ministry of Education about the bottlenecks in organizing the book fair in the current scenario. “We have informed the Ministry of Education of the risks associated with the organization of this fair. Most publishers have announced their unavailability for this edition of the book fair. We don’t have much time for preparations. And, given the expected high attendance, the organizers will never take the risk with people’s lives. The fair is almost canceled. Now we are just waiting for orders from the ministry,” he said.
Sharma also said that the New Delhi World Book Fair is one of the most prestigious and important book events in the Afro-Asian region and has earned a high reputation in the international publishing industry. “Organized since 1972, this year’s theme was ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ – 75 years of Indian independence. With France as the guest country, a special Children’s Authors’ Corner and a special Yuva Corner were supposed to attract young talents to this edition,” he said.