With the Oxford University Press (OUP) completing hundred years of its existence in India,it organised an event in the Capital on Wednesday to mark the centenary celebrations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,an alumnus of the university,was the guest speaker.
I recall the day nearly five decades ago,when I heard with great joy that the OUP had decided to accept my doctoral dissertation for publication. I was fortunate to have the famous John Hicks as my examiner, said Singh,who presided over the evening at Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi.
Singh addressed the gathering comprising authors and readers of OUP and said he saw a greater hunger for knowledge in the country. Parents often lament the decline in the reading habit among their children. But,given the crowds one sees at our book fairs… I am not sure if we exaggerate this fear. We need to provide our people,particularly our youth,access to quality books. While publishing houses may worry more about the number of books sold,we in government must focus on the number of books read, he said.
Talking about the National Mission for Libraries that will cover approximately 9,000 libraries in three years,Singh said: The Mission will focus on improvement of the public library system,concentrating on the states which are lagging behind.