Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2022 postponed

Coronavirus disrupts Indian literary calendar for 2022 again!

Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF)
Naresh Khanna of IppStar at JLF speaks about its research of the Book publishing and printing industry in India and Bangladesh in a panel discussion in January 2020. Photo IPP

6 January 2022 – The 15th edition of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival which was scheduled to be held from 28 January – 1 February 2022 is likely to be postponed amidst the rising cases of Covid-19 infections in the state of Rajasthan, particularly the city of Jaipur. The literary extravaganza was to take place in a hybrid avatar this year with both its on-ground magnificence as well as its nifty virtual presence. The hybrid version was designed to enable a wider audience to access the Festival offerings, reaching out to bibliophiles, book publishers, and book enthusiasts across the globe.

There has been a recent spike in Covid-19 infections across the country with 90,928 fresh infections in India in the last 24 hours. The fresh Covid-19 cases have been following an upward trajectory in the state of Rajasthan with the cases crossing the 3,000 mark in the past few days. Jaipur has also witnessed a recent spike in infections with cases breaching the 1,000 mark yesterday. This has been the second single-day spike in the city since 4 June 2021 when the cases crossed the 1,000 milestone during the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. 1,137 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported from Jaipur on 4 January 2022.

The virtual sessions of JLF were to go live from 28 January to 6 February with an extended online experience. About 250 renowned authors from diverse fields were to speak at the 15th edition of the JLF. The Festival was to be organized at Hotel Clarks Amber near Jaipur with suitable facilities to accommodate large footfalls while following the mandatory Covid-19 safety protocols as per Rajasthan state guidelines.

The organizers of the Festival are to make an official announcement tomorrow regarding the postponement of the 2022 edition of Jaipur Literature Festival.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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