New Delhi World Book Fair likely to be called off

NDWBF could be postponed to April of this year

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New Delhi World Book Fair
New Delhi World Book Fair 2019. Photo IPP

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) recently approved a graded response action plan after the number of Coronavirus cases shot up in the capital. New Delhi recorded a total of 4,099 fresh Covid-19 cases on 3 January 2022 thereby increasing the positivity rate to 6.46%. 

With this recent spike, the National Book Trust (NBT), which organizes the annual New Delhi World Book Fair, has submitted a report to the Central Government about the prospects of still holding the 2022 fair that was scheduled to begin at the end of this week – 8 January 2022. According to a report in The Hindustan Times dated 3 January, the Ministry of Education (MoE) may cancel the book exhibition that was slated to be held from 8 – 16 January 2022. The news report suggests that this year’s edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair may be postponed to April 2022 or organized as a virtual event on the same dates. 

The DDMA has banned the organization of business-to-business (B2B) conferences and exhibitions with a yellow alert under its graded response action plan to upsurges in the Covid-19 pandemic. As reported by HT, with the recent Covid surge in the city and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant across the country, many book publishers from India and overseas have intimated their inability to take part at the major annual book fair organized by the National Book Trust. The Fair was to complete 50 years in 2022, with a special photo exhibition to commemorate the milestone. The theme of this year’s edition was ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ – elixir of energy of independence.

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