Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Aug 06, 2002
Variety - Books
Britannica in single volume
NEW DELHI, Aug. 5
IN an effort to bring Encyclopaedia Britannica to more and more homes, the publishing house has launched a single-volume reference book. "Our 32-volume series usually finds place only in libraries, and this single-volume book is meant for home reference," said Mr Aalok Wadhwa, Managing Director, Encyclopaedia Britannica (India) Ltd.
Priced at Rs 2,100, this single-volume encyclopaedia covers all subjects such as art, history and science, but the number of entries has been brought down to 29,000. The complete set has around 75,000 entries.
Mr Wadhwa mentioned that the company was also planning to translate this new volume into Malayalam, Tamil and Bengali. "We are going to tie up with the Kerala-based publishing house, DC Books, for the Malayalam edition and are in the look-out for local language publishers for the other editions," he said.
Also on the cards is the launch of an encyclopaedia on Hindi cinema, books on ancient, medieval and modern Indian history as well as textbooks and workbooks for students between classes VI and X.
"The encyclopaedia on Hindi cinema is being edited by Gulzar, Govind Nihalani and Saibal Chatterjee and will be priced at Rs 2,100," Mr Wadhwa said.
Talking about the company's plan to publish schoolbooks, Mr Wadhwa said, "We want to take Britannica from the libraries to homes." Britannica will not only market these books at retail stores, but will also approach schools to incorporate them in their syllabus. "In fact, we have already approached several schools for inputs to put together these text books," he said. The school textbooks will mostly cover subjects such as mathematics and science.
The launch of these textbooks will also be accompanied with teacher-training guidebooks.
Mr Wadhwa said that there is a large gap between the demand for books and supply. "The publishing industry in India has not done enough to enrich education. The education material available in India has not changed for years. The publishing industry has to introduce new kinds of study material - those that are more activity driven and not examination-driven," he said.
Mr Wadhwa also mentioned that his company was soon going to launch college-level books as well as books for competitive examinations.
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