Seminars


SEMINAR ON ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING (January - 30, 2006)

Electronic Publishing, initiated in 1986 in USA by Franklin, has now made sufficient headway not only in the West but also in almost every country of the world. Originally, it was intended to meet the challenges posed by the increasing number of books and journals making it quite difficult for libraries everywhere to accommodate them and meet the limited budgets available to them.

In view of this, Afro-Asian Book Council organized a seminar on Electronic Publishing during the New Delhi World Book Fair on January 30, 2006 in Pragati Auditorium. Mr Keshav Desiraju, Joint Secretary, Department of Secondary & Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India was the Chief Guest.

A CHALLENGE TO THE FUTURE

Welcoming the Chief-Guest and others in the seminar, Secretary General of the Council Mr. Sukumar Das termed e-publishing as a challenge to the future, although still in the nascent stage in India.

AN IMPORTANT AREA OF PUBLISHING

Inaugurating the Seminar, Mr Keshav Desiraju said that e-publishing has both intellectual as well as commercial aspects. It has now become an important area of publishing. Even though India is progressing towards an electronic society, yet there are more illiterates in the country than books. He stressed that strong efforts need to be made by the Indian publishers to strengthen the libraries in our government schools or common schools, as there are hundreds of children who should be exposed to the world of books.

E-BOOKS

The Managing Director of New Age International Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Saumya Gupta said that by now 65 per cent of the new books published in USA are available in electronic form. He was confident that just as the printed book revolution had changed the world, so would the e-book revolution. He said that e-books are an answer to one of the limitations of the Internet. We can take it with us anywhere and read it during the train journey. Unlike other computer platforms, e-book is not longer than a traditional paperback book. At the same time, it offers powerful electronic future like note taking, key word searches, changeable font size, quick navigation, and a backlight for poorly lit rooms. Storing e-books is quite easy. This is the reason, he said, a number of research libraries are opting for electronic formats instead of hardcopies. Its main limitation is the costly equipment needed to read the e-book but Mr. Gupta felt that in course of time such equipments should be available at affordable cost.

E-COMMERCE

The Director of D.K. Agencies Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Ramesh K Mittal said that e-commerce is selling goods over the Internet. During the recent years, e-commerce has assumed great significance. It is due to the fact that Internet users across the world has surpassed over one billion by the year 2005, up from 45 million in 1995. USA happens to be the largest Internet user and India is the fourth largest. Internet population in India is in the range of 38 million. At present, 6.5 million people in India are using Internet. With the use of Internet, Mr. Mittal said, one can buy anything from anywhere in the world, while paying only the competitive prices. One can purchase direct from the seller thus saving himself from the botheration of going through the intermediary. The total transactions by Internet during the current year are in the range of Rs.11.8 billion. They are expected to go up considerably in the years to come. More and more organizations are turning to e-marketing as means to faster reach to the clients and as cost saving device. In publishing too many publishers have launched their own websites to make accessible their databases to the people at large. But the main obstacle, Mr. Mittal said, is that many people are reluctant to pay through Internet due to security threats. Again, payment gateway charges are very high. Consumers also do not have ways and means to make payments through Internet. With Internet competition has become quite severe. To top it all, users of Internet are mainly in urban areas.

EMERGING TRENDS

Mr.Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin, Chairman, Nigeria International Book Fair, said that the invention of a movable type starting from China to the use of movable type by Gutenberg in 1436 on a hand operated press, was the beginning of the reproduction of the book as we know it today. Operating on a very large scale, books can be produced less expensively now than it has been and with electronic publishing, a further reduction in the cost of books has been achieved, making books affordable.

The emerging trends in electronic publishing are the advancement in the publication of the electronic book and more worrisome is the copyright implication of the ability to download content with or without the consent of the publishers. The socio-economic principle that copyright protection encourages individual effort and invariably enriches the society is under great assault by various movements in the West that is advocating a modification of copyright laws to gain easy access to knowledge made possible through electronic transfer of the content. Google has recently decided to digitize books for easy access on the internet without recourse to the publishers. Although publishers are challenging the decision in the courts in America, it is a trend that can inhibit the growth of publishing in the Third World. The technological developments in computers, advanced communication systems, laser printers, and software developments have transformed India into a communication center to the world, he said.

ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING & DIGITAL LIBRARIES

Dr. Jagdish Arora, Librarian from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, said that out of 1.5 lakh journals, as per Ulrich International Periodical Directory, almost 20,000 are now available in electronic form. Similarly, most of the international publishers have now brought out e-books as well. They are coming out with interesting models but subscription model has become more popular. There is an increasing trend of e-encyclopedia with attractive offers. With this situation, the users now feel comfortable while accessing to information from websites at any place and time they find convenient. Classrooms are now being converted into on-line market. All IIT`s in India and other institutions are being linked. In many educational institutions, courses are offered on on-line. CD-Rom is yet another innovative idea in electronic publishing. As a result of this revolution, many electronic journals are now available free for print. Students are being asked to submit their research thesis in electronic form.

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Sudhir Gandotra, CEO of Inserve Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (a 100% LINUX based Software Development and Internet Services Company), explained in simple words how a website should be planned so as to serve the purpose in the best possible way. He compared the website to the organization?s brochure and described the advantages in terms of cost and the possibility of reaching the largest possible people. He also explained all the basic steps required to have a visitor-friendly, appealing and secure website. Such a website, when suitably designed, is invariably made accessible to the visitors for 24 hours and during the whole year. At the same time, the information to the people is made available as per their own convenience. According to Mr. Sudhir Gandotra, the cost of such a website, consisting of 15 to 20 pages, should be around Rs.10-15,000. His own organization has designed and is hosting over 2000 websites since 1996.

IMPACT OF E-PUBLISHING ON TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING

Mr. M.L. Ahuja, General Manager of CBS Publishers & Distributors emphasized on the synthetic approach of e-publishing and traditional publishing, while explaining how it has helped libraries to meet their limited budget and overcome the problem of shrinking space. He also wanted the setting up of national websites in Asian and African countries with a link with websites of the individual publishers. This, he felt, should help in providing detailed information about our books to people in various nooks and corners of the world.

To overcome the challenge posed by electronic media with a fascinating programmes and striking dialogues Mr. Ahuja suggested that our authors and publishers have a greater role to play in the inculcation of reading habit among the people. Our authors have to make the text more interesting and editors in our publishing houses have to ensure that the text is presented in delectable language, illustrated and wherever essential CDs are to accompany our books. CD is essential especially where practical knowledge is required.

Electronic Publishing, initiated in 1986 in USA by Franklin, has now made sufficient headway not only in the West but also in almost every country of the world. Originally, it was intended to meet the challenges posed by the increasing number of books and journals making it quite difficult for libraries everywhere to accommodate them and meet the limited budgets available to them.

In view of this, Afro-Asian Book Council organized a seminar on Electronic Publishing during the New Delhi World Book Fair on January 30, 2006 in Pragati Auditorium. Mr Keshav Desiraju, Joint Secretary, Department of Secondary & Higher Education, Ministry of HRD, Government of India was the Chief Guest.

A CHALLENGE TO THE FUTURE

Welcoming the Chief-Guest and others in the seminar, Secretary General of the Council Mr. Sukumar Das termed e-publishing as a challenge to the future, although still in the nascent stage in India.

AN IMPORTANT AREA OF PUBLISHING

Inaugurating the Seminar, Mr Keshav Desiraju said that e-publishing has both intellectual as well as commercial aspects. It has now become an important area of publishing. Even though India is progressing towards an electronic society, yet there are more illiterates in the country than books. He stressed that strong efforts need to be made by the Indian publishers to strengthen the libraries in our government schools or common schools, as there are hundreds of children who should be exposed to the world of books.

E-BOOKS

The Managing Director of New Age International Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Saumya Gupta said that by now 65 per cent of the new books published in USA are available in electronic form. He was confident that just as the printed book revolution had changed the world, so would the e-book revolution. He said that e-books are an answer to one of the limitations of the Internet. We can take it with us anywhere and read it during the train journey. Unlike other computer platforms, e-book is not longer than a traditional paperback book. At the same time, it offers powerful electronic future like note taking, key word searches, changeable font size, quick navigation, and a backlight for poorly lit rooms. Storing e-books is quite easy. This is the reason, he said, a number of research libraries are opting for electronic formats instead of hardcopies. Its main limitation is the costly equipment needed to read the e-book but Mr. Gupta felt that in course of time such equipments should be available at affordable cost.

E-COMMERCE

The Director of D.K. Agencies Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Ramesh K Mittal said that e-commerce is selling goods over the Internet. During the recent years, e-commerce has assumed great significance. It is due to the fact that Internet users across the world has surpassed over one billion by the year 2005, up from 45 million in 1995. USA happens to be the largest Internet user and India is the fourth largest. Internet population in India is in the range of 38 million. At present, 6.5 million people in India are using Internet. With the use of Internet, Mr. Mittal said, one can buy anything from anywhere in the world, while paying only the competitive prices. One can purchase direct from the seller thus saving himself from the botheration of going through the intermediary. The total transactions by Internet during the current year are in the range of Rs.11.8 billion. They are expected to go up considerably in the years to come. More and more organizations are turning to e-marketing as means to faster reach to the clients and as cost saving device. In publishing too many publishers have launched their own websites to make accessible their databases to the people at large. But the main obstacle, Mr. Mittal said, is that many people are reluctant to pay through Internet due to security threats. Again, payment gateway charges are very high. Consumers also do not have ways and means to make payments through Internet. With Internet competition has become quite severe. To top it all, users of Internet are mainly in urban areas.

EMERGING TRENDS

Mr.Otunba Yinka Lawal-Solarin, Chairman, Nigeria International Book Fair, said that the invention of a movable type starting from China to the use of movable type by Gutenberg in 1436 on a hand operated press, was the beginning of the reproduction of the book as we know it today. Operating on a very large scale, books can be produced less expensively now than it has been and with electronic publishing, a further reduction in the cost of books has been achieved, making books affordable.

The emerging trends in electronic publishing are the advancement in the publication of the electronic book and more worrisome is the copyright implication of the ability to download content with or without the consent of the publishers. The socio-economic principle that copyright protection encourages individual effort and invariably enriches the society is under great assault by various movements in the West that is advocating a modification of copyright laws to gain easy access to knowledge made possible through electronic transfer of the content. Google has recently decided to digitize books for easy access on the internet without recourse to the publishers. Although publishers are challenging the decision in the courts in America, it is a trend that can inhibit the growth of publishing in the Third World. The technological developments in computers, advanced communication systems, laser printers, and software developments have transformed India into a communication center to the world, he said.

ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING & DIGITAL LIBRARIES

Dr. Jagdish Arora, Librarian from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, said that out of 1.5 lakh journals, as per Ulrich International Periodical Directory, almost 20,000 are now available in electronic form. Similarly, most of the international publishers have now brought out e-books as well. They are coming out with interesting models but subscription model has become more popular. There is an increasing trend of e-encyclopedia with attractive offers. With this situation, the users now feel comfortable while accessing to information from websites at any place and time they find convenient. Classrooms are now being converted into on-line market. All IIT`s in India and other institutions are being linked. In many educational institutions, courses are offered on on-line. CD-Rom is yet another innovative idea in electronic publishing. As a result of this revolution, many electronic journals are now available free for print. Students are being asked to submit their research thesis in electronic form.

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Sudhir Gandotra, CEO of Inserve Infotech Pvt. Ltd. (a 100% LINUX based Software Development and Internet Services Company), explained in simple words how a website should be planned so as to serve the purpose in the best possible way. He compared the website to the organization?s brochure and described the advantages in terms of cost and the possibility of reaching the largest possible people. He also explained all the basic steps required to have a visitor-friendly, appealing and secure website. Such a website, when suitably designed, is invariably made accessible to the visitors for 24 hours and during the whole year. At the same time, the information to the people is made available as per their own convenience. According to Mr. Sudhir Gandotra, the cost of such a website, consisting of 15 to 20 pages, should be around Rs.10-15,000. His own organization has designed and is hosting over 2000 websites since 1996.

IMPACT OF E-PUBLISHING ON TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING

Mr. M.L. Ahuja, General Manager of CBS Publishers & Distributors emphasized on the synthetic approach of e-publishing and traditional publishing, while explaining how it has helped libraries to meet their limited budget and overcome the problem of shrinking space. He also wanted the setting up of national websites in Asian and African countries with a link with websites of the individual publishers. This, he felt, should help in providing detailed information about our books to people in various nooks and corners of the world.

To overcome the challenge posed by electronic media with a fascinating programmes and striking dialogues Mr. Ahuja suggested that our authors and publishers have a greater role to play in the inculcation of reading habit among the people. Our authors have to make the text more interesting and editors in our publishing houses have to ensure that the text is presented in delectable language, illustrated and wherever essential CDs are to accompany our books. CD is essential especially where practical knowledge is required.

Seminars

SEMINAR ON ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING (January - 30, 2006)

SEMINAR ON AUTHOR-PUBLISHER RELATIONSHIP (August 31, 2005)

EMERGING TRENDS IN PUBLISHING AND CHALLENGES TO MEET (September 20, 2006)

SEMINAR ON NATIONAL KNOWLEDGE COMMISSION (February 5, 2008)

Past Seminars-[Seminar Organized]

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